Louisiana: House Approves NRA-Backed Restaurant Carry Bill by Overwhelming Vote
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The following story is via the NRA-ILA.
Yesterday, the Louisiana House of Representatives passed House Bill 72 by an 80 to 19 vote. This NRA-supported measure, sponsored by state Representative Joe Lopinto (R-Metairie), would clarify that concealed handgun permit holders may possess firearms in restaurants that serve alcohol.
HB 72 was introduced to resolve a potential conflict between two sections of state law: under R.S. 14:95.5, it is unlawful to possess a firearm in any commercial establishment where alcohol is served for consumption on the premises. The only exceptions to this prohibition are for owners or employees and law enforcement officers acting in the course of their official duties. Although the concealed carry law clearly states that bars, not restaurants, are off-limits to license holders, another subsection of that statute prohibits permit holders from carrying in any area where firearms are banned under state or federal law. That subsection, read in conjunction with R.S. 14:95.5, is where the potential conflict arises.
It is critical that the state legislature clear up any confusion during this session and confirm that Louisiana is among the other 49 states that allow for civilians to carry firearms for personal protection in restaurants that serve alcohol.
HB 72 now goes to the state Senate for its consideration. Your NRA-ILA will keep you updated on the progress of HB 72 as more information becomes available.
Please send a note of thanks to Rep. Lopinto for sponsoring this measure at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to thank your State Representative if he or she voted for it.
Also yesterday, the House Committee on Criminal Justice advanced without objection House Bill 1066, sponsored by state Representative Jeff Thompson (R-Bossier City), legislation that makes technical changes to the state’s concealed carry law which could qualify Louisiana permit holders for a waiver from the NICS check when purchasing a firearm from a federal firearm licensed dealer. This would allow Louisiana permit holders to enjoy the same exemption that licensees in 21 other states – including the neighboring states of Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas – currently have. HB 1066 could be considered by the full House late next week. Please contact your State Representative and respectfully urge him or her to support HB 1066.