By LITTICE BACON-BLOOD
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Although no manufacturer exists in Louisiana, the House backed a proposal that would allow gun buyers and sellers to circumvent any federal firearm ban if the gun was manufactured in the state.
The proposal by Republican Rep. Joe Lopinto would create the "Louisiana Manufactured Firearms and Ammunition Act," providing for state licensing and regulations instead of federal oversight.
The bill was approved 75-20, primarily along party lines with Republicans supporting and members of the Legislative Black Caucus in opposition. It heads to the Senate.
Louisiana State Police estimates it would cost $2.2 million to set up the licensing and $600,000 annually afterwards. Legislative fiscal analysts say they can't corroborate the estimates because it's unclear if any companies would seek the license.
House Bill 45 can be viewed at www.legis.la.gov
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