(UnitedVoice.com) – In 2022, the Supreme Court expanded gun laws with its Bruen decision. The court struck down a century-old law in the state of New York and determined Americans have a right to carry guns outside of their home for self-defense.
While the justices expanded gun rights for the entire country, states are also doing their part to make sure citizens are able to fully exercise their Second Amendment rights. More than half of the union has now passed constitutional carry laws, and a Southern state is trying to become the latest.
The Pelican State
On Tuesday, May 16, the Louisiana House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice advanced a permitless concealed carry law by a vote of 8-1. House Bill 131 is set for a floor debate on May 23. It would allow people who are age 18 to carry without a permit. These gun owners are already allowed to carry openly under the current law.
Rep. Raymond E. Garofalo Jr. (R-Chalmette) told the press that lawmakers are just trying to make sure law-abiding citizens have the “same ability that every criminal does.” He claimed criminals are already walking around with concealed weapons, and they don’t have any training or permit.
This isn’t the first time the state has attempted to pass the law. The latest bill is the third of its kind. In 2021, similar legislation actually made it all the way through both chambers, just to be vetoed by Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards.
What makes this year different is that Republicans now have the power to override the governor’s vetoes. They hold two-thirds supermajorities in both the House and the Senate after Rep. Francis Thompson switched from the Democratic to the Republican Party in March. If lawmakers were able to pass the bill and override the possible veto, Louisiana would become the 28th state with constitutional carry on the books.
As mentioned, more than half of the states in the US have a constitutional carry law of some form. Currently, the states with the laws include the following:
- South Dakota
- North Dakota
- West Virginia
- New Hampshire
Twenty years ago, in 2003, Alaska became the first state in the US to pass a constitutional carry law. Florida and Nebraska were the most recent states to pass laws expanding gun rights. The Sunshine State’s law will go into effect on July 1, followed by Nebraska’s sometime at the end of August or in early September.
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