BATON ROUGE, La. — Lawmakers have once again struck down a proposal to allow Louisiana residents to carry a concealed gun without a permit.

A House panel voted 8-5 Wednesday against Rep. Barry Ivey’s “constitutional carry” measure.

State law allows people to openly carry a gun without a permit. In order to conceal a handgun, though, residents must be trained, undergo a background check and have their fingerprints taken.

More than a dozen supporters of Ivey’s bill testified that the permit requirements, which include hundreds of dollars of fees, are costly and prevent law-abiding citizens from exercising their Second Amendment right.

“These laws are really onerous on our poor,” Ivey said.

Opponents argued that the permitting process keeps concealed guns in the hands of responsible people who have been properly trained on safety techniques.

Cissy Rowley was shot during a fatal mass shooting inside a Lafayette movie theater in 2015. Nearly two years later, the Metairie teacher said she still is in pain and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

“We cannot stop every dangerous person from carrying a concealed handgun in public, but our permitting system helps discourage this from happening,” Rowley said. “(This bill) would simply make it too easy for people who shouldn’t be carrying concealed handguns in public to do so.”

This was the third attempt from Ivey, a Baton Rouge Republican, to have Louisiana join a dozen other states that don’t require permits.


House Bill 68: www.legis.la.gov