Constitutional Carry Dealt a Blow in Louisiana
Currently, there are 21 states where Constitutional (or Permitless) Carry is the law of the land.
It could have been 22 if Louisiana had passed it this week, but there were a lot of historic events that led to its ultimate failure in the legislature.
Louisiana’s lawmakers passed the constitutional carry bill June 1 with a very positive final vote of 27 yeas and 9 nays. Governor John Bel Edwards (D) received the permitless carry bill from the Senate on June 6, and as was expected, he vetoed it on June 24.
This was a setback, but there was still hope as the bill had passed the Republican-controlled House and Senate by veto-proof majorities, meaning that even if vetoed, the bill could get sent to the House and Senate where his veto could be overruled and the bill would become law.
This is exactly what they did. Louisiana’s lawmakers called for the state’s first-ever override session in an attempt to reverse the governor’s veto. When it came time to vote again on July 20, something unexpected happened. Multiple senators who voted in favor of the permitless concealed carry bill changed their votes.
The end result was a vote of 23 yeas and 15 nays. Republicans Louie Bernard, Patrick Connick, and Franklin Foil, and Democrat Gary Smith all switched sides on the vote in order to block the override. A fourth Republican, Ronnie Johns, was absent for the override vote due to surgery; he had voted in favor of the initial bill.
“At the end of the day, the legislature got it right,” Governor Edwards said after the override session on Wednesday, July 20.
Understandably so, gun-rights groups saw things differently when it came to the senators who blocked the bill’s passage. The National Rifle Association (NRA) called it a “betrayal” and Gun Owners of America (GOA) said that their betrayal “speaks VOLUMES, as they only voted ‘pro-gun’ earlier in the session when their votes didn’t matter.”
Despite the setback, history was still made in Louisiana, and if there’s any kind of silver lining to be had, it’s that it showed voters where their senators truly stand when it comes to their gun rights. Second Amendment “single issue voters” have memories like elephants, and when it comes time to vote, GOA said they “will remember this backstab at the ballot box.”
The four flip-flopping senators and the one senator who was absent aren’t up for reelection until 2024. This may seem like a long way off, but an elephant never forgets.
See how to get FFL in Louisiana.