Submit your question to firstname.lastname@example.org. Civil matters only, please.
QUESTION: Are "bump stocks" legal in Louisiana?
ANSWER: A bump stock is sometimes referred to as "bump fire" or "bump fire stock" (one of the distributors has "Bump Fire" in the name), and is an attachment that uses the recoil of a weapon to mimic the action of an automatic weapon, but it does not actually fully convert it to what fits the definition of "automatic" weapon. If you want to understand the mechanics of it, there are thousands of videos on Youtube that explain how they work and show them in action.
However, in 2010 the ATF issued an opinion that the stocks were not a firearm but an accessory to a firearm, and they would therefore not be regulating them. In light of recent events, there is a legislative push to consider regulating them, but as of now, in the State of Louisiana, it is not illegal to buy, sell or possess bump stocks.
QUESTION: I drive a bus for a local school board. We are paid for four hours a day - two in the morning and two in the afternoon - but are required to come in on our time for drug testing, bus repair, breakdowns, paperwork, etc. If we do a field trip, we are deducted $2.50 for every 15 minutes if it is during our paid time. Shouldn't we be paid for our time when called in for drug testing or while waiting for hours on bus repair?
ANSWER: As with any job, you should familiarize yourself with your employment contract. Most places do not compensate employees for the time to take a drug test, or to do a background check, because you can choose at which time to have that done, but it should specify that in your contract.
However, as far as being required to wait around while repairs are being done – that may be a violation of employment law, as no company can force an employee to be somewhere for a significant amount of time and not compensate you. The test – are you in the course and scope of your employment? Example, if you get in an accident on the way to your drug screen or your background check, you would not be considered "on duty" and your employer cannot be held responsible for your actions. However, if while waiting for repairs, you are considered "on duty" then you cannot be made to be there without being paid. Federal guidelines on being paid while you wait depend on the freedom you have while you wait – are you allowed to leave, perform other tasks? If yes, you generally are not entitled to compensation. However, if you do not have those basic freedoms, it can be considered "work time" and you should be paid.
QUESTION: I was told that if I fish in fresh water, that I need a freshwater fishing license, but if I fish in saltwater, I need a fresh and saltwater license. Is that correct?
ANSWER: Sort of. In order for anyone 16 or older to fish, you need a Basic Fishing License. This includes when using a cast net, a frog gig, a trot line and, of course, a rod and reel. However, there is an area in Louisiana known as the "saltwater line," dividing the fresh and salt areas. If you are fishing south of the line, you are also required to purchase a saltwater license in addition to the basic fishing license. Licenses go on sale from June 1 and expire on June 30 of the following year. For more info, the Wildlife and Fisheries website is www.wlf.louisiana.gov.
Disclaimer: The information furnished in this answer is general and may not apply to some situations. All legal situations are unique. No one should rely to their detriment on these answers. Anyone with a potential legal problem should seek the advice of a licensed attorney before taking any action or inaction. The answers provided are not intended to be specific legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created between the SWLA Law Center and the viewers of KPLC-TV.