BATON ROUGE, La. — To show support of the governor’s veto on a bill that would allow conceal carry without a permit, police from departments statewide gathered today to discuss the potential override session.
They wanted to make sure their support of the governor's veto on the bill was clear. Legislators have until July 15 to vote whether or not they want to return to Baton Rouge to try and override the governor's vetoes.
Officers said no longer having to get a permit to conceal carry a weapon would make criminals feel empowered and brave, and it would lead to more violence.
They say this bill is a solution in search of a problem.
Plus, they believe the training is not too much to ask, and it teaches way more than just how to shoot a gun. Instead, they say it teaches about gun safety, storage, and other parts of being a gun owner.
Officers are concerned that not having to get a permit would lead them to have to assume that everyone is armed.
The Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police Executive Director, Fabien Blache, made his stance very clear.
“We are not opposed to conceal carry,” said Blache. “We’re opposed to conceal carry without education, and knowledge of when, where, why, and how you can use this firearm.”
Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman also made his point; this law would affect everyone in the state.
“This conceal carry law was not well thought out,” said Gusman. “Whether you’re from the north, south, or central Louisiana, it’s important that we have a law that works. This law does not work.”
Officers said aside from this law putting them at risk, it would be a danger to the public at large.
They’re concerned that having to make assumptions that would change the way they approach their job.
Superintendent Shaun Ferguson from the New Orleans Police Department said this could impact their daily operations.
“It would put us in a position to have to assume that everyone is armed,” said Ferguson. “And in doing so, that heightens that engagement or interaction, with whomever we may encounter throughout the scope of our duties and that is something we do not need right now.”
A concern gun owners that want to conceal carry without a permit have is the fact that the permitting process might be too complicated or expensive.
Sheriff Craig Webre from Lafourche Parish said that’s a legitimate concern, and the permitting process itself could be changed to make it more accessible.
“I think the bureaucratic process legitimately could be tweaked, and it should be, as most laws do over time as they mature, and you encounter challenges or difficulties,” said Webre. “I don’t know how long you should have to wait for the process or how much it should cost. But the process is a legitimate process.”
One example they used to get their point across is saying that nobody would allow their children to get on a school bus without having the bus driver go through the process of training and having the required licensing.
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