Legislators Reject Proposals To Change Louisiana Gun Laws
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The push to change Louisiana's gun laws is falling flat.
A House criminal justice committee Tuesday rejected several proposals brought by both sides of the political aisle, largely capping efforts to alter firearm rules after the massacre at a Florida high school where 17 people were killed.
In snubbing a measure that would have outlawed rapid fire devices known as bump stocks, opponents said the bill's language was too broad. The gunman who last year killed 58 people at a Las Vegas concert in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history used such devices.
Before they voted down a proposal to enact a 10-day waiting period after a person buys a gun, lawmakers heard from a National Rifle Association representative who said it would be a needless impediment to lawful citizens.
And when the panel was debating a bill that the sponsor said was intended to close loopholes related to background checks for gun sales in the state, they heard that an adequate federal system already exists. The bill failed.
Rep. Terry Landry, a Democrat who proposed a bill that would have enacted an outright ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, said something has to be done.
"From my perspective, it's a matter of human rights, not gun rights," said Landry, a former state police superintendent. His bill did not pass.
Also failed were bills allowing people above 21 years old to carry guns without concealed carry permits, one that would have clarified the definition of "concealed" and a bill requiring a person who is carrying a concealed firearm to let law enforcement know as officers are approaching.
Lawmakers have filed roughly two-dozen gun bills this year, most stemming from the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Democrats have been proposing gun restrictions as Republicans advocate for the loosening of firearm rules. The measures have mostly been unsuccessful.
Bills that sought to let armed civilians act as campus security guards, allow teachers to carry guns at school and ban the sale of assault weapons to people under the age of 21 have failed. A proposal to let people wear bulletproof backpacks on school grounds, though, has passed the Senate and now awaits further consideration.
House Bills 473, 400, 736, 852, 416, 415, 412: www.legis.la.gov
- by AP reporter Anthony Izaguirre