Concealed carry bill advances in La. legislature but Democrats seek tighter restrictions

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 7:04 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Even as the nation is dealing with yet another deadly mass shooting, in the Louisiana legislature there is debate over gun rights.

State lawmakers expressed sadness over the horrific attack on students and teachers at the Texas school, but they differ when it comes to whether gun laws should be tightened.

On Tuesday, May 24, the day of the shooting, House Bill 37 by Rep. Danny McCormick made it out of a Senate committee. It had previously been approved by the House of Representatives. So, that means the legislation is almost of the legislative process. It would allow adults to carry concealed weapons without a permit or training.

Democrats say gun laws need to be strengthened while gun-rights-minded Republicans disagree.

Those calling for more gun restrictions were more willing to be interviewed for this story than those who oppose the idea.

Rep. Royce Duplessis, D-New Orleans, is emphatic that change is needed to protect more innocent people from losing their lives.

“No question, especially if Louisiana holds itself out to be a pro-life state. You can’t reconcile being a pro-life state while being against safer gun laws, it just doesn’t work and the hypocrisy just has to stop,” said Duplessis.

Rep. Raymond Garofalo is a Republican from Chalmette.

“Look what happened in Texas is a horrible, horrible situation and of course, my heart, everybody’s heart goes out to all those families but again, for me, I should have the ability to protect myself and my family the same way that criminals have the ability,” said Garofalo.

Rep. Candace Newell is a Democrat who also represents New Orleans in the legislature.

“It’s also disappointing that just yesterday we passed a bill that would remove some of the requirements and restrictions for background checks and for people to actually have that hands-on training in order to get a concealed permit to carry a concealed weapon,” she said.

Last year, Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, vetoed similar legislation.

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