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The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

New LA concealed carry bill is full of flaws

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Louisiana lawmakers and Gov. Jeff Landry have had a difficult time containing their excitement about the new concealed carry bill that’s set to become law on Independence Day. The law will establish constitutional concealed carry, effectively removing criminal restrictions on concealed firearms in most public settings for anyone 18 or older.

Many praise the law as an effort to get with the program in the South, as Louisiana is the last state in the region without a constitutional concealed carry law. But citizens overlook the ramifications of what’s to come.

The new law encourages irresponsible gun ownership, and that’s one of the last things Louisiana needs.

As someone vehemently pro-Second Amendment, I’ll admit that this is a mistake for the state. It’s not an issue about having guns. It’s about turning all adults loose with firearms in a state that has tremendous gun violence.

In many other states, this law works well, but in Louisiana, the law won’t be effective. Louisiana suffers from some of the highest violent crime rates in the nation, with the highest murder rates and fourth-highest assault rates, according to the FBI. The most recent statistics continue the long history of violent crimes in the state.

The volume of violent crime fuels the fear in the state and rallying support behind this change in the state’s law.

“People are getting raped, murdered, carjacked and assaulted,” Rep. Mike Johnson said. “[the bill] gives the citizens of Louisiana the right to defend themselves.”

We had the right to keep guns in our homes and vehicles before this bill became a hot topic. Possessing a gun in public should require some training or certification, but the state is throwing out both of those requirements. Under current law, you need to be a resident for six months, go through live-fire training and own a concealed-carry permit; that will soon be gone.

Expecting people to go out and get this training on their own is misguided hope, especially when this law opens the door to anyone over 18, not 21, like most states with a similar law. We already lack comprehensive firearm education, and we have a terrible illegal gun culture.

I’m not alone when I say that I grew up around firearms, and I know a few things about them. Most of my knowledge came from hunting and target practice involving rifles, but most people in that scenario neglect handgun education, which is your only real option for concealed carry.

Opening the door for people as young as high school seniors to carry a handgun isn’t helping the problem, especially when most people of that age only have gun knowledge from TV and video games.

The vintage argument will always be that bad people will use guns illegally no matter what the law is, which is the case here. But can we trust someone who’s possibly never shot a gun without any training?

You don’t have to be uneducated, though. You can take the steps that few will take toward being responsible and knowledgeable about concealed carry. The Louisiana State Police have free online handgun education courses, and for around $120 – $180, you can get hands-on training with professionals in different locations in northeast Louisiana.

Instead of staying blissfully ignorant, take the step up and be someone who’s able to act.

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  • L

    Lacey RhodyMar 27, 2024 at 8:07 am

    I’m a felon bc of a drug addiction over 15 yrs ago.. how is right that I can’t protect myself bc I’m a recovering addict? I have 3 children & I’m in a Parish that has the highest prosecution & since I was arrested, the charges I have no longer carry any jail time. I had simple possessions bc I’m an addict who made a mistake. I have prayed for something to change & hope to be able to expunge Mt record but Louisiana does what no other state does! We need different bills & laws changed & this is one! More ppl than u realize have more guns than the military & have records but aren’t hurting anyone, it’s our right to carry & it does need to be tweaked but this bill is a start! sincerely MY honest opinion ❤️‍🩹🙏🏼

  • R

    Randy LandreneauMar 26, 2024 at 7:19 pm

    I am all for this law. Sure criminals will use and carry guns regardless of the law but now we as law abiding citizens can protect ourselves. Criminals knowing this will think twice now that they know they could be shot.and killed by an ordinary citizen protecting themselves and or their family from harm, but I do recommend firearms training if you have never fired a handgun.

  • H

    Hank JohnsonMar 26, 2024 at 5:03 pm

    Cry harder.

    • W

      Wesley legerMar 27, 2024 at 1:16 pm

      They need to keep the background check on everyone that they turn loos with a gun