Edwards veto the carrying of a concealed weapon without a license

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Governor John Bel Edwards explains the rewrite of the tax structure he is proposing for the next legislative session, Wednesday in Baton Rouge.

(The Center Square) – Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has vetoed a bill that would have allowed people to carry a concealed weapon around the state without taking training or obtaining a license.

Senate Bill 118 had 38 co-sponsors, including three Democrats. It was passed by the State House, 73-28, and was approved by the State Senate, 27-9. This has fueled speculation that lawmakers could return for a special session for a notwithstanding veto vote. Such a session would take place from July 20 to 24 and would be the first since the revision of the Louisiana Constitution in 1974.

Edwards, a Democrat, said he believed the state’s current law “strikes the right balance.” The Republican governors of neighboring Texas and Mississippi recently approved similar legislation.

Current law requires residents aged 21 and over to take a safety course before obtaining a concealed handgun license. The law also allows residents 18 years of age and over to openly carry a weapon. Louisiana is also a “shall-issue” state, which means the government must prove why a person applying for a license shouldn’t get one – such as a felony conviction or a history of domestic violence – as opposed to states where applicants must prove why they should one.

A person must pass a 60-minute online handgun training course that covers topics such as gun-free zones, the use of lethal force, and interactions with law enforcement to receive a licence.

“Our current system strikes the right balance to ensure people can carry guns while maintaining reasonable authorization and training processes in place,” Edwards said in a statement announcing his veto. “It is no exaggeration to ask that a person who wishes to carry a weapon concealed in public be required to undergo basic marksmanship and safety training so that they understand the regulations associated with such action.”

Republican Senator Jay Morris, the bill’s main sponsor, said he was not surprised because Edwards has made his position clear throughout the legislative process.

“The people of Louisiana want it and hopefully we will join our neighbors, like Texas and Mississippi, and pass the constitutional deferral with or without the governor’s signature,” he said.

Edwards pointed to a survey conducted by A Stronger Louisiana, a group that supports his program, which showed that 80% of those polled support the current law.

The bill would still have made permits available, especially for people who wanted one so they could conceal transportation to other states that recognize Louisiana’s permit subject to reciprocity.


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