State House committee shoots down gun law bills

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A number of bills which aim to change gun laws in Louisiana lacked the ammunition to advance out of a House committee Tuesday.

"It takes months to get a conceal-carry permit, months. It doesn't take months to kill somebody," said an emotional crime victim who addressed the House Criminal Justice Committee.

She was in favor of one of Rep. Barry Ivey's bills which aimed to allow law-abiding citizens, 21 or older to carry concealed firearms without a permit.

"We do not eliminate the crime of illegal conceal-carry, we simply do not make it apply to people who otherwise are not restricted from the possession of a firearm and the firearm was legally obtained," Rep. Ivey said.

But the bill was shelved by the committee.

Earlier Rep. Terry Landry, a retiree of State Police, and Rep. Helena Moreno tried to push through legislation to prohibit the sale and possession of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, as well as require people who currently have such weapons to register them, or surrender the firearms.

"Should these weapons be so easily accessible to any 18-year old, should it be easier to get one of these weapons than to adopt a cat, or a dog from the pound?" said Rep. Moreno.

But a New Orleans resident argument passionately that homeowners' trying to protect their families from intruders need more rounds, not less.

"When you're doing it under pressure because you've got three seconds to stop this guy before he lunges at your kids, or your wife, this crazed, drug addict criminal, you've three seconds to hit a moving target, you need more rounds," stated Mike Weinberger, of Home Defense Foundation.

Even after compromise amendments were offered to the committee, HB 736 did advance to the full state House for consideration.

"I just find it very ironic and strange that we would put gun rights ahead of human rights," said Rep. Terry Landry, D-New Iberia.

The House committee also considered a bill to prohibit the use of rapid-fire devices, such as bump stocks in Louisiana.

"It's not protected by the Second Amendment.  The Second Amendment says you can bear arms. This is not an arm, it's a device that you put on an arm," said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Pat Smith, D-Baton Rouge.

Authorities said the Las Vegas mass shooter used a bump stock.

But opponents of the bill told state lawmakers the devices have legitimate uses.

"It does have a valid purpose, it assists the shooter, especially a shooter such as myself who suffers from physical disability the ability to fire at a slightly faster rate but nowhere near the rate of a fully automatic, or a semi-automatic," said Louis White.

The bill was defeated.

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