Gun reform laws go before state legislature

MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Louisiana lawmakers are now looking at gun laws in the state. Monday was the first day of the regular legislative session.

Representative Katrina Jackson says the topic of firearms is going to be a hot topic this regular session.

"That’s probably going to be the biggest contention issue of this session," Jackson says.

One of the bills being presented would allow teachers to conceal carry in schools. It's something Jackson says she's prepared to vote against.

"Any legislation that offers a compromise between arming teachers and doing some safety and infrastructure things is what we didn’t think about," she says.

ULM political science professor Joshua Stockley says that bill is the most likely gun reform law that would be passed because of the state's conservative majority.

"I think a proposal like that, because it falls in the category of increasing access to firearms, is far more likely to pass in the state of Louisiana," Stockley says.

However, Stockley says he doesn’t expect any major gun laws to be passed this legislative session.

One of the reasons is because recent tragedies haven't hit home.

"It didn't happen in Louisiana,” he says. “As far as I can tell, there is no momentum in this state to change the laws."

Stockley says one thing to consider is the feelings of those affected most.

"What are our superintendents saying? What do principals and teachers think? What does law enforcement think?” Stockley asks.

That's why Jackson is urging people to speak up to help state lawmakers make a difference.

"We want you to email everyone and tell us your opinion,” Jackson says. “You might not share our opinion but we need to know what works at this point."

Stockley says if the bill is passed, it could go into effect immediately after it's signed by the governor.