Governor to sign gun legislation in Monroe - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

UPDATE: Governor signs gun legislation in West Monroe

Posted: Updated: June 19, 2013 11:02 PM
Source: AP Source: AP

WEDNESDAY NIGHT UPDATE

WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A local gun owner approves of the new gun measures signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal Wednesday in West Monroe.

Rodney Denton is the Archery Manager for the West Monroe T. P Outdoors. He's giving a string of new gun laws a thumbs up.

"It strengthens the gun laws in our state, we are an extremely friendly gun state," Denton said. 

For one, Governor Bobby Jindal is increasing the penalties against anyone who leaks information on a concealed handgun permit. Breaking the rule carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail. Denton is all for it.

"It helps ensure that they have rights and it stays in the privacy of their families," Denton said. 

A handshake between the governor and a lawmaker also tells us it's now legal for off-duty law enforcement officers to carry their firearms on school grounds.

"I think Louisiana for a nice change is starting to lead the nation again," Denton said. 

For convicted felons along with people who have mental illnesses. The governor says it's time for the state to put safety first.

"Make sure we close those loopholes to make sure they're not able to purchase those weapons to hurt themselves or hurt others," Jindal said. 

Jindal is hoping gun owners turn out at the polls. A new law places voter registration forms at firearm retailers throughout the state.

Denton says all types of people are now arming themselves with a firearm.

"Older people, younger people, we get people who are not necessarily hunters or shooters," Denton said.

When those buyers are applying for a concealed handgun permit, they'll be able to get one that'll last a lifetime.

There's also a new law allowing a sheriff to issue concealed handgun permits to homeowners living in another parish, as long as the sheriff of that parish says it's okay.

WEDNESDAY EVENING UPDATE 

WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) – Wednesday, Governor Bobby Jindal signed six bills into law aimed at improving gun safety and protecting Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms. The Governor signed the bills at T. P. Outdoors in West Monroe.

The package of legislation includes SB 135 and HB 717, HB 6, HB 8, HB 98 and SB 178. In addition, the Governor highlighted HB 265, which was signed into law last month.   

Governor Jindal said, "We are celebrating the Sportsman's Paradise and American values. In the face of an administration in Washington that wants to take away the rights of law-abiding gun owners, we are standing up for the Second Amendment and the Constitution of the United States here in Louisiana."

"As Governor, I have already signed legislation to expand Louisiana's Right-to-Carry law in state parks, protect the privacy of Right-to-Carry permit holders, preserve Louisiana's hunting heritage through the "Louisiana Family Hunting Law," and allow people to keep firearms stored in their vehicles while parked at work. Today, we are building on the work we've done to protect the rights of Louisianians while also implementing common-sense gun safety measures," said Jindal. 

SB 135 and HB 717 (Part of the Governor's 2013 Legislative Package)— authored by Senator Neil Riser and Representative Henry Burns—requires increased reporting standards to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) database. This legislation will help keep weapons out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill while maintaining confidentiality of individuals' mental health records.

Increased reporting standards will include individuals who are ineligible to purchase firearms based on their involuntary commitment to an inpatient mental facility, found not guilty by reason of insanity, found not competent to stand trial or convicted of a violent crime. This legislation also establishes a mechanism that allows an individual whose mental illness diagnosis has been reversed to regain their right to possess a firearm through a petition to the court.

HB 6—authored by Representative John Schroeder—will improve school safety and help protect kids by allowing off-duty law enforcement officers to carry their firearms on school property, at school sponsored functions and in firearm-free zones.

While current law already allows on-duty officers to carry their weapons, HB 6 removes the requirement that the law enforcement officer be in the performance of his official duties in order for the exemption to apply. The bill also expands the exemption to include a federal law enforcement officer or a Louisiana commissioned state or local POST Certified law enforcement officer who is authorized to carry a firearm.

HB 8—authored by Representative Jeff Thompson—will protect the privacy of law-abiding gun owners by adding penalties to the unlawful release of information provided on concealed handgun permits.

Current law provides that any information contained in an application for a concealed handgun permit or any information provided in connection with the application submitted to DPSC is confidential and not subject to a public records request. Current law also provides that DPSC shall not release any list of persons who applied for or received a permit for a concealed handgun.

Under HB 8, employees of DPSC who unlawfully disclose information from concealed handgun permit applications shall be fined not more than $500, imprisoned for not more than six months, or both (misdemeanor). In addition, any other person who unlawfully discloses this information shall be fined $10,000 and may be imprisoned for not more than six months, or both (misdemeanor).

The bill does create exemptions to criminal liability if a court orders the release of the information, if the concealed handgun permit holder or applicant is charged with a felony offense involving the use of a handgun, if the permit holder or applicant consents to the release of the information, or if the information has been made public by the permit holder or applicant.

HB 98—authored by Representative Jeff Thompson—strengthens the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens by authorizing a sheriff to enter into a reciprocity agreement with another sheriff from a contiguous parish that allows both sheriffs to issue concealed handgun permits valid in both participating parishes.

The bill also includes penalties for the unlawful dissemination of the confidential information contained in the permit application, specifies criteria for reciprocity and defines permit qualifications and the application process.

SB 178—authored by Senator Neil Riser—will help more law-abiding gun owners exercise their right to vote by providing that voter registration application forms may be made available to purchasers of firearms from firearms retailers located throughout Louisiana.

The bill defines "firearm retailer" as any retailer who possesses a Type 01 Federal Firearms License and employs 25 or more full-time employees. Under SB 178, firearm retailers who make voter registration applications available may register with the Secretary of State to receive voter registration information and procedures.

HB 265 (signed into law May 30th)—authored by Representative Barry Ivey—will further cement Louisiana as the Sportsman's Paradise and protect longstanding tradition by allowing for lifetime concealed handgun permits for law-abiding citizens.

The bill provides that the term of the permit shall be for the life of the permit holder and that permit applicants shall pre-pay present law fees for a total of 20 years at the time the application is made. If the applicant is 65 years of age or older, the present law fee shall be pre-paid for a total of 10 years. Under HB 265, lifetime permits may be revoked for the same reasons present law concealed handgun permits can be rescinded.

In addition, HB 265 provides that a lifetime concealed handgun permit shall be suspended if the holder of that permit becomes a resident of another state, and it allows for the reactivation of the permit upon a criminal background check and return to Louisiana residency. Lifetime concealed handgun permit holders must also provide proof of educational training every five years.

Previous Report:

MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Governor Bobby Jindal will be in Monroe Wednesday to sign legislation strengthening Louisiana gun laws.

Jindal will be at T. P. Outdoors in West Monroe Wednesday afternoon to sign the legislation he says will improve gun safety and strengthen Second Amendment protections.

That signing will take place at 3:20 p.m. and is part of the governor's 64-parish tour.

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