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Louisiana Constitutional Carry (HB 118), with Veto Proof Majorities, to go to Governor Edwards

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Louisiana State Capitol, from wikimedia CC 2.5, 18 Oct, 2006, cropped and scaled by Dean Weingarten

The Louisiana legislature passed SB 118 with veto proof majorities. The House sent the bill, with amendment to the Senate, after voting for it 73 to 27 on 27 May, 2021.

Constitutional Carry is a reasonable facsimile of the state of law when the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791. At that time, no state, nor the federal government required any governmental permission to carry arms openly or concealed.

The Senate passed the amended bill on 1 June, 2021, 27 ayes to 9 nays. SB118 will be sent to Governor Bel Edwards. It was enrolled on 3 June. Governor Edwards has 20 days from the end of the session to veto the bill or allow it to become law without his signature.  The session is scheduled to adjourn no later than 10 June, 2021. 

The House amendments included a requirement for the Department of Public Safety and Corrections to develop and provide a free online, one hour course about concealed carry. From the bill

A. The Department of PublicSafety and Corrections, office ofstate police, shall provide a sixty-minute online concealed handgun education course at no cost to Louisiana residents.

B. The concealed handgun educationcourse shall cover the following topics:

(1) Concealed handgun basics and nomenclature.

(2) Firearm-free zones.23

(3) Use of deadly force.24

(4) Interactions with law enforcement officers.

Previously, Governor Edwards said he would veto a Constitutional Carry bill. Governor Edwards (D) is term limited. He is not allowed to run in the next election for governor.  In spite of his promise to veto Constitutional Carry, he may not want Constitutional Carry to be a prominent issue in the 2022 elections. If Governor Edwards vetoes any bills, a veto session will be held in 40 days, unless a majority of either house certifies, in writing, that a veto session is unnecessary. 

 Louisiana vetoes are seldom overridden. It has only happened twice since statehood. The last time was reported to be 39 years ago. The Constitutional Carry bill was popular in the legislature. It merely puts into law the Constitutional Amendment protecting the right to arms passed by the electorate in 2012.

Texas passed a Constitutional Carry bill, HB1927 on 24 May, 2021. Governor Greg Abbot has promised to sign the bill. Governor Abbot has until 20 June, 2021 to sign the bill or allow it to become law without his signature. 

The passage of the Texas Constitutional Carry bill could add legitimacy to the Louisiana bill.  

Governor Abbot of Texas is expected to sign HB1927 before 20 June, probably in a well attended, formal signing ceremony, with two other bills protecting the right to keep and bear arms in Texas.

When Texas joins the Constitutional Carry club, 21 states will be members. If Louisiana joins, there will be 22. 

Several other states, including  Pennsylvannia, Ohio, and Indiana, have been considering Constitutional Carry bills.  

Vermont has always had Constitutional Carry. 19 other states have restored Constitutional Carry since 2003. The current members of the Constitutional Carry club are:

Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi  Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

When Texas becomes a member of the club, about 56% of the land area of the United States will fall under the jurisdiction of Constitutional Carry states. Louisiana would bump that number to 58%.

©2021 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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