The Constitutional Carry bill, recently passed by the Louisiana House, was rejected by the Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards.
The bill, approved by the Louisiana House in late April, granted the permitless handgun carry, provided that it is concealed and its holder is above 21.
The legislation was introduced by Republican Louisiana Senator Jay Morris on March 30th.
The so-called Senate Bill 188 was even passed by the Louisiana Senate in its revised version on June 1st.
In the state House, the bill received the 73-28 majority, while in the state Senate it got 27-9.
So close, yet so far
Regardless of the overwhelming support from the Louisiana lawmakers, Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards fulfilled his promise to veto the bill.
Governor Edwards described the current legislation as “striking the right balance” without any need to change it.
Namely, the current law possesses several additional requirements for prospective gun holders.
Besides the age specification, the current Louisiana bill mandates that each gun possessor goes through a 9-hour course where he would be trained to handle the gun.
Furthermore, each legal gun possessor must be a Louisiana resident for at least six months and pass a background check from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
Edwards described these requirements as not too demanding and potentially helpful in explaining the responsibilities associated with gun ownership.
Reactions from the other side
Senator Morris told reporters that Governor’s decision did not come as a surprise to him.
He explained that even though the Governor had been consistent in his opposition to the bill he described as suitable for “law-abiding and freedom-loving citizens,” the decision still disappointed him.
Morris added that he hopes Louisiana would join its neighbors Texas, Mississippi, and Tennessee in fully supporting the so-called “constitutional carry” rights he believes are granted by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Unlike his Louisiana colleague, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a similar law on June 6th, allowing Texans to carry guns without requirements from September 1st onwards.
Tennessee citizens, however, would enjoy similar rights beginning from July 1st.
Yet, Louisiana Governor ostensibly remains firm in his position against the bill.
He explained that, despite being an avid hunter, he could not support untrained people to carry guns.
He also expressed his hopes that his fellow Louisianans would agree with him.