BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — Two bills making their way through the 2021 Louisiana Legislative session would eliminate the permit requirement for concealed carry in the state.
Currently in order to get a concealed carry permit in the state, a person must pass a background check, complete a firearm training course, be 21-years-old, and pay multiple fees. SB 118 and HB 596 would bring the requirements much closer to the open-carry law in the state, but retain the 21-year-old age requirement.
“Our people want to defend themselves,” said State Sen. Jay Morris, author of SB 118. “They don’t want to have to pay the government for the privilege or the right, the constitutional right that they already have.”
20 states, including Arkansas and Oklahoma, already a form of permitless carry laws in place. Texas is considering it, but not everybody in the Pelican state is on board.
“We’re not opposed to conceal carry,” said Fabian Blache Jr., Executive Director of the Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police. “What we’re opposed to is conceal carry without education and without training.”
It’s the removal of that training requirement that has some members of law enforcement concerned.
“Those who have those licenses have been instructed and trained on how to interact with law enforcement,” said Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul.
SB 118 has passed through the Senate, and now awaits a committee hearing in the House. HB 596 passed through the House Wednesday, 72-28, and now heads to the Senate.
Governor John Bel Edwards has indicated he will veto the bills if they reach his desk.