Gun-Buying Changes Proposed

The pre-filing of bills for the regular session commenced alongside Mardi Gras Monday, but it also jumped off with a bang. Press coverage from around the state has so far zeroed in on HB 10 by Rep. Henry Burns, R-Haughton, which would allow law enforcement officers to carry firearms inside bars and establishments that serve alcohol whether or not they’re on duty.

But there will also be another bill, not yet available for review, to require all gun buyers to pass a firearms safety course. Rep. Austin Badon, D-New Orleans, filed similar legislation last year, but failed to get it out of committee.

Conceptually, any kind of training sanctioned by the National Rifle Association would suffice, he said, including hunting classes or concealed weapons courses. An honorable discharge from the military would be acceptable as well.

“If you don’t pass, you can’t buy,” said Badon, who personally has a concealed weapons permit. “People need to be educated about the use of deadly force. They need to understand liability.”

In related policy moves, other lawmakers are considering bills that would offer economic incentive packages for gun manufacturers in Louisiana. But none have been pre-filed yet.