Former Mandina’s employee Royce Duplessis proposes measure to curb gun violence

Published: May. 2, 2023 at 5:27 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Louisiana state Sen. Royce Duplessis, who began his career as a server at the popular New Orleans restaurant Mandina’s, is proposing a measure to address the state’s high rate of gun violence in the wake of a fatal shooting that claimed the life of employee Hilbert Walker III over the weekend.

“I worked at Mandina’s. It was one of my first job as a teenager,” said Sen. Royce Duplessis (D-New Orleans). “To see what happened at Mandina’s is heartbreaking for so many reasons. It shouldn’t happen anywhere.”

The tragedy has prompted police to release new surveillance footage of a person of interest, as the community mourns the loss of the beloved server.


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As a senator from a city with one of the highest murder rates in the country, Duplessis says he is determined to tackle the root causes of gun violence and is proposing a bill to temporarily remove firearms from individuals who threaten violence against themselves or others. The proposed legislation would require a district attorney to file a petition to initiate the removal process.

However, the bill faced opposition from the National Rifle Association and was tabled after a hearing. Despite this setback, Duplessis remains committed to addressing the issue of gun violence and believes there are other steps Louisiana can take to intervene before it’s too late.

“We oppose this bill. It’s a red flag law which allows the government to seize firearms,” said Kelby Seanor, with the Louisiana chapter of the National Rifle Association.

“Please don’t ever mistake my efforts with an effort to simply go out and seize people’s guns, that’s not true,” countered Duplessis.

With five weeks left in the legislative session, Duplessis hopes to revive his bill and work with other Senate committee members to find solutions to the state’s gun violence problem.

Duplessis tabled the bill to remove guns from those who threaten violence, but he says he will continue to work on it with other Senate committee members.

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