Yesterday at noon, the Louisiana State Senate convened a veto override session for the first time in modern history.
It appears the primary motivation for the legislators to return for the historic veto override session was two bills – Senate Bill 156 that focuses on transgender people in female sports, and Senate Bill 118, which would allow gun carriers to carry a concealed gun without a permit.
Senators voted 26-12 for the transgender sports ban veto override, the exact number of votes needed. The vote fell along party lines, with Republicans (including Winn Parish Senator Louie Bernard) supporting the measure and Democrats (Including Winn Parish Senator Jay Luneau) in opposition. “I’m convinced this bill is a solution looking for a problem,” said Sen. Jay Luneau.
In the House, Republicans will need to pick up some backing from Democrats and independents to overturn the veto and enact the ban into law.
The vote to enact SB118, the concealed-carry measure, was 23-15, three votes short of the two-thirds requirement. Four senators voted for the bill during the regular session but refused to overturn Edwards’ veto: Connick; Louie Bernard, a Natchitoches Republican; Franklin Foil, a Baton Rouge Republican; and Gary Smith, a Norco Democrat.
The WPJ spoke to Louie Bernard about his change of heart regarding SB118 yesterday. “Since the regular session ended, I had time to reflect on the manner in which passage of SB-118 would affect law enforcement personnel. Many felt this would create yet another level of risk to a job already dangerous enough. I have to respect that view.
I have voted for every piece of firearm legislation since becoming a Senator. I believe wholeheartedly in the 2nd Amendment and in the right of a citizen to carry a concealed weapon. But with great freedoms come great responsibility. Therefore, I believe that SOME level of training should be in place before carrying a concealed weapon. We owe that not only to our law enforcement community but for the safety of the general public and the individual who carries the weapon.
I totally respect the views of those who believe that no training or permit should be required. In future legislative sessions, I will support efforts to make the requirements for concealed carry less onerous to our citizens,” said Bernard.
Voting to override Gov. Edwards’ veto of permitless concealed carry (23): President Cortez, Sens Abraham, Allain, Cathey, Cloud, Fesi, Henry, Hensgens, Hewitt, Lambert, McMath, Milligan, F. Mills, R. Mills, Mizell, Morris, Peacock, Pope, Reese, Talbot, Ward, White and Womack.
Voting against overriding Senate Bill 118 (15): Sens Barrow, Bernard, Boudreaux, Bouie, Carter, Connick, Fields, Foil, Harris, Jackson, Luneau, Peterson, Price, Smith and Tarver.
The House plans to start debates on veto overrides tomorrow and one thing is certain Winn Parish will be watching to see how their representatives vote.