The Louisiana chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement after lawmakers in the Louisiana Senate advanced SB 118, a dangerous permitless carry bill that would allow people to carry loaded handguns in public without a background check or any hands-on safety training, dismantling Louisiana’s culture of responsible gun ownership. The Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police testified against the bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Louisiana’s permitting system has kept thousands of people with dangerous histories from lawfully carrying concealed handguns in public since its inception, and it makes sure that people who do carry guns in public do so responsibly,” said Angelle Bradford, a volunteer with the Louisiana chapter of Moms Demand Action. “No wonder law enforcement opposes this dangerous permitless carry bill. My question to our lawmakers who keep trumpeting their support for law enforcement is, why don’t they oppose it, too?”
“As a person of faith, it’s my job to preach and protect abundant life, and to stand in opposition to anything that would endanger it,” said Kevin Wells of Greater Mount Carmel Baptist Church of Scotlandville. “We are the ones who preach at funerals, who console families, who have to look at the empty pews in our chapels when members of our congregations are taken by gun violence. That’s why I and so many of my colleagues oppose this dangerous permitless carry bill, which could make gun violence worse in our state.”
What to know about permitless carry in Louisiana:
- Permitless carry legislation, like HB 16, HB 596, and SB 118, would strip the state of essential permitting and training standards for carrying concealed guns in public. It would allow people to carry loaded handguns in public without a background check or any hands-on safety training, dismantling Louisiana’s culture of responsible gun ownership.
- Permitless would take away a critical tool law enforcement uses to differentiate between responsible gun owners and those who are prohibited from possessing guns or carrying them in public.
- Permitless carry would also allow people with dangerous histories – including extremists and white supremacists with criminal histories – to evade background check requirements and safeguards that ensure responsible gun ownership.
- More information about permitless carry is available here.
What to know about gun violence in Louisiana:
- In Louisiana, on average, 990 people are shot and killed with a gun every year; Louisiana has the fourth highest rate of gun deaths in the U.S. and the second-highest rate of gun homicide.
- Each year, 4,397 people are wounded by guns in Louisiana; Louisiana has the highest rate of gun injuries in the US.
- At an average cost of $1,793 per person each year, Louisiana has the highest per person cost of gun violence in the US.
Statistics about gun violence in Louisiana are available here, and Everytown’s Gun Law Navigator – which shows how Louisiana gun laws compare to those of other states – is available here. If you have questions, or to request an interview with a volunteer from Louisiana Moms Demand Action, please don’t hesitate to reach out.