Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Local Newscast
Hear the latest from the WRKF/WWNO Newsroom.

Gun Laws Touted By Jindal Have Major Gap

In order to deal with the Lafayette shooting tragedy, Governor Bobby Jindal announced last Friday he was suspending his presidential campaign. Jindal’s later response to a reporter’s persistent questioning about gun control policies certainly indicated the campaign was on hold.

“There will be a right time and place to have that conversation,” Jindal told the reporter. “I’m more than happy to talk about this in a few days. Right now is not the time.”

Of course, the theatre shootings meant Jindal was getting ample national TV exposure. And on Sunday morning, he appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation”. Although he was being questioned about the events in Lafayette, his interview was sandwiched in among fellow GOP presidential candidates Rand Paul, Rick Perry and Donald Trump. And he was talking gun policy.

“Here in Louisiana, we actually passed tougher gun laws a couple of years ago,” Jindal said, and then explained how those laws might have prevented John Russell Houser’s actions last Thursday night.

“If Houser had been involuntarily committed here in Louisiana, that information would have automatically been reported to the national background check system. He wouldn’t have been able to buy a gun. He wouldn’t have been able to go into that pawnshop and buy that gun, as he did in another state,” Jindal stated.

That’s not entirely accurate.

First, the shooting investigation now shows that Houser was never involuntarily committed.

More importantly, while Louisiana did pass laws in 2013,  they only require clerks of court to report to the F.B.I. the names and information on those involuntarily committed -- by the courts -- due to mental illness.

Yet judges aren’t the only officials responsible for issuing involuntary commitment orders in Louisiana. It’s also part of the parish coroner’s job.

You heard right: the coroner. State law says when police believe someone poses an imminent threat due to mental illness, the coroner orders the commitment.

State law does not require coroners to be physicians.

And the 2013 laws do not require coroners to report commitments to the F.B.I.