Baton Rouge Representative Barry Ivey (R) presented his package of seven gun laws in the House Criminal Justice Committee on Wednesday.
“I tried to bring a balanced approach," he says "legislation to, what I perceive to be, restoring the rights of law-abiding citizens. I wanted to do something that I believe could actually help prevent gun violence.”
House Bill 4, a proposed constitutional amendment, would eliminate the requirement for concealed carry permits. “We’ve got individuals who, in my opinion, have an absolute constitutional right to conceal carry without a permit. And I believe these rights have been infringed,” he says.
Victoria Coy with Louisiana Violence Reduction Coalition opposed the bill, saying it would also allow dangerous people to carry loaded weapons. “Every time we see one of these big shootings on the news, people go ‘if only we had known this was a bad guy.’ The concealed permitting system," says Coy, "is the system by which we know. That’s the whole point.”
Ivey said his bill only applies to law abiding citizens. “It’s basically defined as people who are not restricted from possession of a firearm in Louisiana. My bill does not allow dangerous people to legally conceal carry without a permit. Doesn’t do that.”
Both the Louisiana Sheriffs and District Attorneys Associations opposed the bill, which the committee turned down.
Ivey moved on to the next bill. HB 315 would lift some restrictions on where someone can conceal carry. University of Louisiana at Lafayette Professor, Dr. John Troutman, opposed the bill. “It’s vague language," he says, "and suggests that people can carry in bars and college campuses.”
Again, Ivey disagreed, saying "my bill does not allow John Q. Public to get this enhanced conceal permit and carry their gun on campus.”
And again, the bill was voted down.
Of the seven bills presented, Ivey's House Bill 320 was the only one to move out of the committee, which would increase the penalty for illegally possessing a firearm while committing a violent crime.