Here’s why some within Law Enforcement don’t want to see a veto override session

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 11:25 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 8, 2021 at 12:54 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Several law enforcement officers are not happy after word about lawmakers possibly overriding the governor’s veto of a permit-less concealed carry bill. They held a press conference earlier today to express their concerns.

The bill, which Gov. Edwards vetoed on June 24, proposed to allow Louisiana residents 21 and older to carry a concealed carry weapon without a permit.

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The governor issued the following statement after vetoing the bill:

“I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, and an enthusiastic outdoorsman and hunter. But I simply cannot support carrying a concealed carry firearm without proper education and safety training – and I believe the majority of Louisianans agree with me. Our current system strikes the right balance of ensuring that people can bear arms while also keeping reasonable permitting and training processes in place. It is a matter of basic public safety and numerous law enforcement leaders across the state opposed the bill for this reason, especially as it relates to the enhanced risk posed to their officers. Simply put, it is not too much to ask that a person who wishes to carry a concealed weapon in public be required to attend basic marksmanship and safety training so they understand the regulations associated with such an action. That’s reasonable and responsible, and for these reasons, I have vetoed the permitless carry bill.”

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“It’s important that we have a law that works, this law does not work”, said Marlin Gusman with the New Orleans Police Department.

The permit-less carry bill by Sen. Jay Morris (R) would allow adults 21 and up without a criminal record to conceal carry a firearm without being required to pay for any training. The bill passed by majority vote in both the house and senate is also one of the main things driving lawmakers to call for a veto override session this month. That’s something a few within law enforcement don’t want to happen.

“Law enforcement officers have training, they have post requirement, and there are still things that go wrong sometimes”, Gusman continued.

They say the training that’s currently required is essential to making sure everyone knows how to properly use and store a firearm as well as when and where they can use it.

“Now you have a variety of people who show up. There are people who are very proficient in firearms and there are people who have never held a firearm in their life”, said Lafourche parish Sheriff Craig Webre.

With tensions high between officers and parts of the community, they worry this will only make things worse.

“I don’t want to go into a department store or a restaurant and wonder who might be carrying a concealed weapon”, Webre explained.

But Sen. Morris says that’s what they should already be doing.

“I would say that anytime they approach a situation they should always assume that someone might be armed”, said Sen. Morris.

He says it’s part of police training to always expect the worst in a situation and know how to handle it professionally.

“A professional does his job without, uh you know, overreacting or anything of that nature so I don’t see how that would change their approach to a dangerous situation”, Morris continued.

He also says there are plenty of officers who support his bill, including his own police chief. Although the officers at the press conference disagreed with the bill, they did agree that the cost of taking the required course is something that should be looked at and tweaked in the future.

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