BATON ROUGE, La. (June 2, 2021) – Yesterday, the Louisiana Senate gave final approval to a “Constitutional Carry” bill that would make it legal for Louisianans to carry a concealed firearm without a license, and foster an environment hostile to federal gun control.
Sen. Jay Morris (R-West Monroe) introduced Senate Bill 118 (SB118) on March 30. The legislation would allow Louisiana residents 21 and over who are not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. Under the proposed law, the state would continue issuing conceal carry permits for residents who want to carry in other states that have CCDW reciprocity with Louisiana.
On May 27, the House passed SB118 by a 73-28 vote with some amendments. The Senate previously passed the measure by a 27-11 vote. The amendment requires the Department of Public Safety and Corrections to create a free online concealed carry handgun course for Louisiana residents. Yesterday, the Senate concurred with a vote of 27-9.
EFFECT ON FEDERAL GUN CONTROL
While permitless carry bills do not directly affect federal gun control, the widespread passage of permitless conceal carry laws in states subtly undermines federal efforts to regulate guns. As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway.
The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages “the market.”
Less restrictive state gun laws will likely have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce any future federal gun control, and increase the likelihood that states with few limits will simply refuse to cooperate with federal enforcement efforts.
State actions such as passing SB118 would lower barriers for those wanting the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourages a “gun-friendly” environment that would make federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.
SB118 will now move to Governor John Bel Edwards’ desk, where he must sign or veto legislation within 10 days of transmittal, or it becomes law without his signature.