Friday, March 01, 2024

Louisiana Constitutional Carry Bill Passes Senate - on to the House

Louisiana State Capitol, from wikimedia CC 2.5, 18 Oct, 2006, cropped and scaled by Dean Weingarten

Louisiana is likely to become the twenty-eighth state to restore Constitutional Carry (permitless carry).

South Carolina is in the process of rectifying versions of a (permitless) Constitutional Carry bill in conference committee. There is a good chance South Carolina will pass a bill acceptable to both the South Carolina House and Senate. It will take time.

Louisiana already passed a Constitutional Carry bill in 2021. The bill passed with veto-proof majorities, but Governor Bel Edwards (D), was able to sustain a veto with a combination of arm-twisting and promises.

In 2023, Louisiana voters elected Governor Jeff Landry (R). Governor Landry has promised to sign a Constitutional Carry (permitless) bill if it reaches his desk. Support for Senate Bill 1 (SB1) is high. It was passed in the Senate 28 to 10, on February 22, with all Republicans voting for the bill. It was sent to the House Committee on Administrative Justice on February 23. The bill is expected to be passed by the Louisiana House. Republicans hold a super majority in the House of with 73 Republicans and 32 Democrats. All seats were up for election in 2023. The Republicans gained two seats by filling an empty seat and replacing one Democrat.

Here is the the most important part of the bill. From Louisiana SB1, §95. Illegal carrying of weapons:

M. The provisions of Paragraph (A)(1) of this Section shall not apply to a resident of Louisiana any person who is if all of the following conditions are met:

(1) The person is twenty-one eighteen years of age or older. and

(2) The person is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under R.S.14:95.1, R.S. 40:1379.3(C)(5) through (17), 18 U.S.C. 922(g), or any other state or federal law.

(3)(a) The person is a reserve or active-duty member of any branch of the

Page 1 of 5
Coding: Words which are struck through are deletions from existing law; words in boldface type and underscored are additions.

Here is what the above part of the bill will look like if passed into law and the special character coding is removed:

M. The provisions of Paragraph (A)(1) of this Section shall not apply to any person who is eighteen years of age or older and is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under R.S.14:95.1, 18 U.S.C. 922(g), or any other state or federal law.

SB1 goes on to clarify the current restrictions on carrying a concealed handgun by people who have a state issued concealed handgun permit still apply to those who are exercising permitless carry. Those restrictions include the prohibition on concealed carry in restricted areas. Those areas are already defined by state and federal law. They include detention facilities, courthouses, polling places, and others.

Unless the South Carolina legislature acts quickly, Louisiana will become the next state to remove infringements on the right to keep and bear arms.  If both Louisiana and South Carolina pass versions of Constitutional Carry (permitless carry), 29 states will have a version of the law, restoring the legal ability of the vast majority of residents to carry a loaded handgun in most public places, with first obtaining permission from a government bureaucracy.  As Constitutional Carry, or permitless carry, has been implemented across the 27 existing states, very little statistically significant change in crime rates has occurred.  If researchers cherry pick very specific time frames for very specific areas, they can find some instances where crimes have increased. They can find more areas where crime has decreased. Overall, the effect is relatively small. 

The major effect is likely a greater respect for the Constitution and the rule of law.

Update: SB1 has passed the House 76 -28, and has been sent to Governor Landry for signature. 


©2024 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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