BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA — Louisiana lawmakers in the House want to add a critical amendment to the Louisiana Constitution which would make permitless carry an inalienable right. On December 21, 2015, Representative Barry Ivey (R – 65) filed House Bill 4 (HB4) which would amend Article I, Section 11 of the Constitution of Louisiana to add the following provision:
The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms includes the right to possess a concealed handgun without the necessity of obtaining a permit or license, unless the person is prohibited from possessing a firearm under the laws of Louisiana or the laws of the United States.
This is a vast improvement to the civil liberties of Louisiana residents and a big change from the traditional lawmaking that normally goes on when legislators want to amend or create a law. A constitutional amendment would be a big leap forward and ensure that Louisiana folk keep that liberty for a long time. The coolest part — by proposing a constitutional amendment in this manner, if passed it will bypass the governor’s desk completely and go straight to the ballots set for November 8, 2016. This means, if passed, the people of Louisiana will have the choice to become permitless concealed carriers.
Prior bills which attempted to enact permitless carry in other states, such as Arizona in 2011 and New Hampshire in 2015, have passed the Senate and the House only to be shot down by the governor. In fact, there is a laundry list of even Republican governors who have shot down or trampled on the legislative body’s attempt to enact laws that free the people from the burden of costly permitting requirements.
House Bill 4 has been referred to a House Committee which deals with the Administration of Criminal Justice. These checks are required to find out what conflicts presently exist in the law and find out what liabilities and issues would likely arise that would require further legislative action.
We’re still awaiting word of the if/when of a similarly worded Senate bill to make its motions onto the floor. We’ll let you know when it does. In the meantime — here’s rooting for you, Louisiana!