LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A Louisiana State Representative pushes for new legislation on the state’s concealed carry law. The legislation would allow citizens to carry a concealed handgun on them, without needing a permit or firearms safety classes.
Some lawmakers are hoping to jump on board with eighteen other states with “constitutional carry” laws in their books.
“It seems to be the trend around the country right now,” says Terry Ardizzone, an NRA certified instructor. “There were like 9 or ten that had it and then it almost doubled recently here. So I wouldn’t be surprised if it passes and part of that is because there’s a sense that maybe our gun rights are on the verge of being lost.”
Some law enforcement officers hope Louisiana will not join states like Arizona, Mississippi, and Oklahoma where anyone who can legally possess a firearms may carry it without a permit or any training.
“We at the Sheriff’s office don’t believe it would be a good thing,” says Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Commander Gene Pittman. “I’m a little surprised it’s that many states. I mean I think it’s a whole different deal for us in law enforcement.”
For NRA certified instructors, a passing vote on this legislation could mean less business and compromise safety for citizens.
“Many people just don’t know how to be responsible and safety conscious with those so the training definitely helps out with all of that,” says Ardizzone.
A conceal carry course requires 8 hours of classroom instruction. From there, you get to go out to a gun range to train. Louisiana requires students to shoot from the six, ten, and fifteen feet ranges. They need eye and ear protection, a gun, and 36 rounds of ammunition.
“Some very good things there that don’t just allow people to carry a gun concealed without some proper instruction,” says Commander Pittman.
According to Louisiana State Police, the department issued over 25,000 permits in 2019.
The measure will be brought before the Louisiana Legislature for a vote in mid-April.