By T. Scott Boatright
Louisiana’s House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that would allow those 21 and older to legally carry a concealed firearm without a permit.
Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat who generally supports gun rights, has expressed his opposition, arguing that requiring permits and training strikes the right balance between personal rights and public safety.
House Bill 596, authored by Rep. Bryan Fontenot (R-Thibodaux), moves on to the Senate after a 72-28 vote.
The Senate already has approved Senate Bill 118 — which has the same goal — with a 27-11 vote.
Fontenot said adults already have the right to carry a firearm in Louisiana openly without a permit. He said that many other states have enacted similar provisions while rejecting the argument that his proposal could put law enforcement officers in danger while adding that the cost of the training required to get a permit exceeds State Police’s expenses to deliver the training. The change would apply only to people not otherwise banned from carrying a gun.