Bill to allow concealed carry without a permit in La. sparks controversy

Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 5:38 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Louisiana residents soon may be able to carry a concealed firearm without needing a permit.

“You shouldn’t have a paper that says you can or can’t something that’s in the Constitution something that’s okay to do,” resident Christopher Shotwell said.

Right now in the state of Louisiana, only active-duty military and veterans 21 or older can carry a concealed weapon without a permit, but State Rep. Danny McCormick (R-Oil City) believes that anyone 18 or older should have that same right.

“My granddaughters killed their first deer at the age of six years old. They’re quite proficient with a weapon, they can open carry but they can’t concealed carry to protect themselves from the criminal elements and predators we have in society now, and I think it’s completely shameful that Louisiana has denied them that right,” McCormick said.

To get a permit, you have to submit a fingerprint, pass a background check, have a valid Louisiana license and fill out an application. You must also pass a firearm training course approved by the Louisiana State Police, something Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso believes is essential.

“What’s wrong with the little bit of training that people have to get to get a concealed weapon. I just can’t support this, I don’t think it’s wise. I think it makes it dangerous for the public,” Mancuso said.

McCormick agreed that training is necessary, but he said it shouldn’t be mandated - responsible gun owners should just take it upon themselves.

“The criminals don’t care about getting a permit or doing it the right way, they just do it however they can, and that puts the law abiding citizens in a bind,” resident Dwayne Tousand said.

The bill creates room for controversy, but representative McCormick said he will keep pushing for it as long as he remains in office.