Louisiana mayors unite in opposition to veto override of controversial gun bill

Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Late last month, Governor John Bel Edwards vetoed a bill sponsored by Senator Jay Morris of West Monroe that would allow Louisianans 21 and older to conceal carry a firearm without a permit or proper training.

While Louisiana is an open-carry state already for citizens 18 and over, current law calls for a person to complete a nine-hour training course and pay fees to get a permit to conceal carry.

On Tuesday, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell joined mayors from around the state in opposition to a potential veto override of Gov. Edwards declination. Mayor Sharon Weston Broome of Baton Rouge, Mayor Adrian Perkins of Shreveport, Mayor Robert Billiot of Westwego, Mayor Cornell Dukes of New Roads and Mayor Lionel Johnson of St. Gabriel stand alongside Cantrell in urging the Louisiana legislature to uphold the veto.

Cantrell’s statement reads:

As leaders of Louisiana cities, large and small, we are asking the legislature to uphold Gov. Edwards’ veto of this dangerous legislation. No one is attempting to take away anyone’s Second Amendment rights, but instead, keep the current law in place to protect all of our citizens. Louisiana is the sportsman’s paradise and nothing will change that, but eliminating the requirement for citizens to be trained in firearms handling and obtain permits and receive training to carry concealed weapons puts the people we represent in danger and it will make it harder for law enforcement to keep us safe. Just last week, sheriffs and police chiefs from across the state came together to ask the legislature not to override this veto. We join them in that effort.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell

As Cantrell stated, the Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police has been vocal in its stance against the bill, as has East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux III and New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Shaun Ferguson.

“Can you imagine going into a shooting situation and you walk in a room and everybody is holding a gun?,” said East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux III. “You’re not going to know who is a bad guy and who is a good guy and it just puts those officers in a terrible position to make split-second decisions.”

Ferguson concurs with Gautreaux’s sentiments.

“We strongly oppose any legislation that would create the potential for what could be thousands of untrained individuals bringing weapons to the streets of the City of New Orleans,” wrote Ferguson in a statement.

Lawmakers have until Thursday to submit their veto ballots, which with enough support could spark the state’s first veto session on July 20.

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