Edwards Vetoes Constitutional Carry Bill

Late Thursday night Governor Edwards vetoed Senate Bill 118 sponsored by Sen. Jay Morris, R-West Monroe aimed to remove the requirement for law-abiding individuals to obtain a concealed handgun permit before being allowed to carry concealed, a handgun for self-defense.  The measure would not affect previously issued carry permits and would allow citizens who still wish to obtain a permit in order to carry in other states recognizing Louisiana permits, to do so.

Under Morris’ bill, often referred to as “constitutional carry,” a person would be required only to be 21 years old and “not prohibited from possessing a firearm” by state or federal law. It would still be illegal to carry a concealed weapon under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and it still requires a carrier to announce it if approached by a police officer.

Gov. John Bel Edwards issued the following statement on Senate Bill 118. “I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, and an enthusiastic outdoorsman and hunter. But I simply cannot support carrying a concealed carry firearm without proper education and safety training – and I believe the majority of Louisianans agree with me. Our current system strikes the right balance of ensuring that people can bear arms while also keeping reasonable permitting and training processes in place. It is a matter of basic public safety and numerous law enforcement leaders across the state opposed the bill for this reason, especially as it relates to the enhanced risk posed to their officers. Simply put, it is not too much to ask that a person who wishes to carry a concealed weapon in public be required to attend basic marksmanship and safety training so they understand the regulations associated with such an action. That’s reasonable and responsible, and for these reasons, I have vetoed the permitless carry bill.” 

The NRA responded to the veto with a call to action “John Bel Edwards decided to listen to the anti-gun minority in the Sportsman’s Paradise, and veto Senate Bill 118.  Despite the thousands of emails, calls, and texts coming from NRA Members and Second Amendment supporters, Governor Edwards sided with gun control groups in vetoing his constituents’ right to effectively defend themselves and their loved ones.  It is more important than ever that you now call and email your State Lawmakers and ask them to SUPPORT a veto session and vote to override Governor Edwards’ veto of Senate Bill 118.”

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