A bill to allow Louisiana residents to carry a concealed firearm without a permit or trainig is dead after the author agreed to defer the bill Tuesday.
House Bill 131 by Rep. Danny McCormick, R-Oil City, is similar to one he advanced last year, which stalled in the Senate in the wake of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas. This is the fourth time he has offered the proposal.
In an interview after he deferred the bill in the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee, McCormick said he would offer the proposal again next year.
McCormick’s legislation, which he refers to as a “constitutional carry” bill, is based on a conservative position that the U.S. Constitution allows a firearm to be carried without a permit. It would eliminate all training and background check requirements to carry a concealed weapon in Louisiana.
“House Bill 131 will restore the Second Amendment in Louisiana,” McCormick told committee members.
The bill had previously gained approval in the House and in the Senate Judiciary B Committee but was referred to Revenue and Fiscal Affairs because it would have an impact on state fees charged for permits.
Because the proposal would essentially make concealed carry permits obsolete, it would have led to a $4.4 million annual decrease in state permit revenue, which would have primarily impacted law enforcement.
McCormick argued the revenue would eventually bounce back, as gun owners would want a permit to receive reciprocity in other states that recognize Louisiana concealed carry permits.
He emphasized that he had no interest in defunding the police.
Throughout the process, McCormick’s bill was opposed by law enforcement groups, religious leaders, victims of domestic violence and other gun control advocates.
Many advocates and lawmakers raised concerns about getting rid of the training requirements currently required to carry a concealed firearm.
Supporters of the bill argued the proposal would have simply given law-abiding citizens the same rights as criminals.
“Criminals already carry a firearm without regard for the law. This bill isn’t for them. This legislation simply puts the law-abiding citizens of Louisiana on equal footing,” National Rifle Association state director Kelby Seanor said when the bill was heard in a Senate Judiciary B Committee last week.
Even if the bill had made it out of committee, it almost certainly would not have been passed by the legislature. A constitutional provision that requires two-thirds of each chamber approve calling a bill for a vote in the last 72 hours of a legislative session.
That point was reached at 6 p.m. Monday. Due to the controversial nature of the bill, it would have been extremely difficult to meet the high bar of approval to call it for a Senate vote.