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Mixed Opinions: Edwards' veto on concealed carry without a permit

The process to get a conceal/carry permit remains in place.
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Posted at 10:01 PM, Jun 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-25 23:09:44-04

Governor John Bel Edwards has vetoed a bill that would allow those 21 years and older to carry concealed firearms without a permit.

The process to get this permit includes getting fingerprints, fees, and sitting through a nine-hour course.

Dan Zelenka, president of the Louisiana Shooting Association, an organization in support of the bill, says this process affects some more than others.

“This $300 to $325 cost and nine hours actually have a pretty severe impact on economically disadvantaged people,” he said. “The people who actually live in the highest crime areas and have the most need.”

He says this veto only impacts those who are already carrying by the rules.

“I don’t think that it really makes any difference with respect to criminals,” he said. “Criminals will carry whether this law is in place or not because they are criminals.”

A man from Kaplan, Franklin Moorhart Jr., agrees.

“I believe if you’re a law-abiding American citizen, you’re not out breaking the laws, you should have every right to carry without a permit,” said Moorhart.

In his statement, Governor Edwards says he’s a strong believer in the second amendment but it is a matter of public safety.

Meanwhile, activists like Megan Romer in favor of this veto say it's a good compromise.

“It’s not that hard to get a concealed carry permit, just get the permit,” she said. “Nobody is saying you can’t have a gun, nobody is taking that away, you just have to get a permit, that’s it. I don’t think that’s too much to ask, and it keeps us all safe.”

She says with Acadiana festivals returning and people’s desires to gather strengthening, this could cause stress.

“We do not need to return to the tension of who's carrying a gun and what’s going to happen if a fight pops off,” she said.

There is already a conversation happening amongst Republican Louisiana lawmakers to hold Louisiana's first veto session under the current constitution.

This veto, alongside a veto on a bill prohibiting transgender athletes from playing on sports teams of their identified gender, might bring legislators back to Baton Rouge for a mid-July session.

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