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Louisiana Makes 28 States as Governor Jeff Landry Signs Permitless Carry Into Law

By Barret Kendrick

In 2012, Louisiana voters approved a robust constitutional amendment raising the bar for the legal standard applied to future gun control laws in the state to that of strict scrutiny. However, concealed carry still required a state-issued permit…until now. Today, Governor Jeff Landry fulfills his commitment, signing permitless carry into law and making Louisiana as the 28th state to eliminate the requirement for government permission to bear arms.

The initiative, led by Senator Blake Miguez through Senate Bill 1, was introduced in a special session aimed at addressing the crime issues in Louisiana, notably in three of its cities ranked among the top ten most dangerous.

Under the new law, individuals who are 18 years or older and are not prohibited to posses firearms can carry a concealed handgun without needing to obtain a permit. The new law goes into effect on July 4th, 2024. It’s important to note, though, that there are specific restrictions to be aware of under the new law.

Prohibited Persons

Both Louisiana and federal law define individuals who are prohibited from possessing firearms. Louisiana prohibits individuals who have been convicted of certain felonies, such as crimes of violence. 

Federal law makes it unlawful for certain categories of persons to ship, transport, receive, or possess firearms or ammunition, including anyone . . .

  • convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
  • who is a fugitive from justice;
  • who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act, codified at 21 U.S.C. § 802);
  • who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution;
  • who is an illegal alien;
  • who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
  • who has renounced his or her United States citizenship;
  • who is subject to a court order restraining the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of the intimate partner; or
  • who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

The Gun Control Act also makes it unlawful for any person under indictment for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year to ship, transport, or receive firearms or ammunition.

Off Limits Locations

Any individual carrying concealed under the new permitless carry bill, is still restricted to all places considered off limits to permit holders that are listed in Louisiana R.S. 40:1379.3, plus a few additional locations. 

Louisiana law currently states that no concealed handgun permit shall be valid or entitle any permittee to carry a concealed weapon in any facility, building, location, zone, or area in which firearms are banned by state or federal law. 

These locations are also explicitly listed as prohibited locations:

  • A law enforcement office, station, or building.
  • A detention facility, prison, or jail.
  • A courthouse or courtroom, provided that a judge may carry such a weapon in his own courtroom.
  • A polling place.
  • A municipal building or other public building or structure, only if the building or structure is utilized as the meeting place of the governing authority of a political subdivision.
  • The state capitol building.
  • Any portion of an airport facility where the carrying of firearms is prohibited under federal law, except that no person shall be prohibited from carrying any legal firearm into the terminal, if the firearm is encased for shipment, for the purpose of checking such firearm as lawful baggage.
  • Any church, synagogue, mosque, or other similar place of worship, eligible for qualification as a tax-exempt organization under 26 U.S.C. 501, unless authorized by the person who has authority over the administration of the church, synagogue, mosque, or other similar place of worship.
  • A parade or demonstration for which a permit is issued by a governmental entity.
  • Any portion of the permitted area of an establishment that has been granted a Class A-General retail permit, as defined in Part II of Chapter 1 or Part II of Chapter 2 of Title 26 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises.
  • Any school, school campus, or school bus as defined in R.S. 14:95.6.

Private Businesses, Restaurants, and Gun-Free Zones

Private businesses in Louisiana maintain the right to prohibit concealed carriers from bringing firearms onto their premises. Additionally, state law mandates that individuals must obtain permission to carry a concealed firearm into a private residence.

While future legislation may change this, only those with a concealed carry permit are currently allowed to carry firearms in restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages. This restriction applies to permitless carriers under the existing law.

Regarding educational institutions, federal and Louisiana laws designate a 1000-foot perimeter around school properties as a firearm free zone. Carrying a firearm directly on school grounds is prohibited in Louisiana. However, both state and federal laws allow permit holders to carry firearms within this 1000-foot zone, but not on the school property itself. To carry within this zone, a valid permit is required.

Reasons to Keep Your Carry Permit

Most permit holders would want to keep their concealed carry permit to continue to carry in the locations exempted above to concealed carry permit holders. These include restaurants and firearm free zones.

Additionally, a concealed carry permit is essential for reciprocity, allowing permit holders to legally carry in other states. Louisiana’s permit is notably recognized by 37 states, making it one of the most widely accepted permits in the U.S.

A key advantage of holding a Louisiana concealed carry permit is the convenience it offers during firearms purchases. It can be used in place of a background check when buying firearms from a Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealer.

Furthermore, while primarily for handguns, the Louisiana permit also grants the holder the right to carry other types of concealed weapons, such as knives.

Being a Responsible Gun Owner

While permitless carry significantly reduces the burdens associated with exercising a constitutional right, it’s essential to maintain a responsible approach to firearm ownership. In addition to understanding the legal restrictions, obtaining professional training in various aspects of firearm use remains crucial at times.

Firearms should be reserved for self-defense, specifically in situations where it is necessary to protect the life of an innocent individual. Training on when or when not to use force against another person is important to receive.

Additionally, one should seek training and practice to develop the skills necessary to engage in the use of a firearm from concealment under one of the most stressful events one could face in life. Such preparedness is key to responsible gun ownership and ensures readiness for the most challenging scenarios.

Conclusion 

As states like Louisiana continue to reclaim gun rights that have been eroded over the years, it’s clear that a national trend is emerging. Louisiana’s adoption of permitless carry as the 28th state is a significant milestone in this movement, with South Carolina poised to follow suit as the 29th. This shift towards constitutional carry laws across the country represents a growing recognition of the fundamental right to bear arms as enshrined in the Second Amendment.

However, it’s crucial to understand that permitless carry is not an endorsement of untrained firearm handling. Instead, it’s about eliminating unnecessary hurdles and barriers that infringe upon constitutional rights. Responsible gun ownership remains paramount, and it’s incumbent upon individuals to seek out proper training and education. This is essential not only for personal safety but also for the safety of the community at large.

Moreover, the shift to permitless carry underscores the importance of understanding and respecting the various state and federal regulations that govern firearm usage. Gun owners must be cognizant of the laws concerning prohibited places and the carrying of firearms in specific settings. Staying informed and compliant with these laws is a critical aspect of responsible gun ownership.

In conclusion, while permitless carry laws like Louisiana’s are a step towards restoring and respecting constitutional rights, they also reinforce the need for a well-informed and responsibly armed citizenry. As more states consider similar legislation, it’s imperative that the emphasis on education, training, and awareness continues to be a central theme in the conversation about gun rights and gun safety.

 

With over 40 years of hands-on experience in firearms and over 15 years of seasoned expertise in teaching and consulting, Barret Kendrick is a renowned figure in defensive firearms training. He founded and leads Bearco Training and Defender School, where he focuses on equipping both individuals and groups with practical, real-world training for self-defense and handling active assailant situations. His teaching footprint spans several thousand students across more than 20 states.

Beyond training, Barret’s influence is evident in legislative arenas. As an elected member of the Louisiana Shooting Association board, he has significantly contributed to shaping laws related to firearms, concealed carry, and use of force. His involvement in authoring, co-authoring, consulting, and testifying on various bills has resulted in important modifications to Louisiana’s legal framework.

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7 Responses

  1. Just received an email from Rep Danny McCormick stating that Governor Landry has earlier today signed SB1 into law and the effective date is July 4 …..Independence Day…..

    1. Hush,

      Effective July 4?? Oh, that is a NICE touch!! Rub their stupid faces in it, and then enjoy the helpless tears of the anti-gun zealots.

      1. Lamp,
        Yep, July 4th is the effective date and it was not chosen by design.
        I was in the House when the full House debated SB1 and the whining was unbearable at times.
        The new Republican Governor and the SB1 author being a shootist made a huge difference.
        Independence Day will be different this year.

  2. So now we’re at 28, and counting. BTW, just as a side note, the number of states required to ratify an amendment to the US Constitution is 38. 28 down, and 10 to go.

    I am reminded of the line by Matthew McConaghey in “Wolf of Wall Street” – “Those are rookie numbers! Ya gotta pump those numbers up!” Let’s start adding more to that list, eh?

  3. After the departure of John Bel Obama and getting a pro Constitution American in office I had higher hopes of getting around all the meritless whining from across the isle in the communist party. Maybe this trend will continue as the biden machine continues to destroy us.

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