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Oklahoma’s recent open carry law included a number of caveats (e.g., license holders only). The restrictions were permissible under Oklahoma State Constitution (relevant bit italicized for effect): “The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power, when thereunto legally summoned, shall never be prohibited; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the Legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons.In 1879, Louisiana legislators did something similar: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged. This shall not prevent the passage of laws to punish those who carry weapons concealed.” Later today, Louisianians may remove that codicil. All hell will break loose, according to some . . .

First here’s the wording of the ballot initiative in front of voters in Sportsman’s Paradise:

Any laws restricting the right to keep and bear arms would be subject to the highest level of judicial review, known as strict scrutiny. Also, the amendment would say that the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental one in Louisiana. It would delete a line in the Constitution that says the right to keep and bear arms shall not prevent the passage of laws to prohibit the carrying of concealed weapons.

In other words, if Question Two gets a thumbs-up, Louisiana gun rights advocates would be free to challenge a whole host of restrictions on firearms freedoms. And the legislature’s hands would be tied in terms of any future restrictions of gun rights.

Orleans Parish District Attorney opposes this possibility. Writing for, Leon A. Cannizzaro Jr.  predicts . . . wait for it . . . blood in the streets.

If this amendment passes, then its proponents will quickly turn to the courts of this state to do their “dirty work” and strike down present criminal laws that keep guns out of the hands of violent felons and off school campuses, which they could not accomplish through the ordinary democratic process . . .

I do not want to take away your gun. Furthermore, I am not opposing any of the multitudes of existing protections you presently have to possess your weapon. I am trying to ensure that if you are at a Saints game or a Mardi Gras parade with your kids that you are not surrounded by hoards of people — including convicted felons — who are legally entitled to carry a concealed weapon without a background check or safety training.

Additionally, I am trying to ensure that when police encounter such individuals they retain the ability to distinguish the “good guys” from the “bad guys” and the legal authority to act accordingly before the shooting begins.

Imagine that! Hoards of people carrying guns without a background check or safety training! Cops who can’t stop citizens simply to determine if they’re legally armed or not! What kind of world would that be?

By the way: all of this is moot. The Constitution of the United States of America trumps local and state law. In theory. In practice, Louisiana citizens are well advised to take care of their own. As—let’s face it—they always have.   [h/t RKBA]

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  1. I have seen these hand wringing claims of blood in the streets for decades as shall issue laws have been put in place in the majority of states. Show me where the people who have jumped thru the hoops to get a permit have caused all the predicted carnage. It doesn’t happen.

    In this day and age I refuse to believe that anybody can be so ignorant as to believe allowing citizens to go armed causes wholesale problems. The people opposing the 2a rights of the citizens have hidden and dishonest agendas.

    • I agree with your sentiments. I used to “refuse to believe”. But now, especially after the rancor and complete ignorance shown by many of those on both sides of the fence, I have come to a different conclusion.

      People CHOOSE to be ignorant. Many hold on so tightly their bias, emotional responses, peer pressure, and pure laziness, they actually REFUSE to look at the facts.

      I find it hilarious that people who are accomplished and smart in other areas, actually LISTEN to the crap that comes out of the mouth of media and politicians.

      Just because Bloomberg says guns are dangerous, some actually take that as gospel.

      Take today as another example. Everyone is a big hubbub over President. Lets be honest, both of these guys have serious problems. Plus, who really has the most impact on you life?? That’s right, your local elective offices.

      Meanwhile, the lazy, and yes ignorant ones, on every side of every issue, will let others do their thinking for them.

      Ask the people in the Rockaway section of Queens, New York how listening to their officials is working for them.

      • Robert, in a different world, maybe that would be okay. Unfortunately, with the revolving door of out judicial system, few, if any felons ever serve a significant portion of their sentence.

        Plus, with lucrative careers in criminal professions,like drugs, home invasion, burglary, etc. recidivism rate is 15% in the same year released, and 67.5% in three years.

        One of the consequences of committing a felony is the loss or rights associated with being a citizen. Loss of voting rights, and the right to bear arms.

        Must say I have no problem with that.

        • Our rights are not gifted by the State. If you’re a religious man, they’re endowed by our creator, so then how can the State remove your rights? If your sentence has already been completed, then there shouldn’t be any restrictions on your rights. Period. If you believe otherwise, then you believe that the State grants you your rights and you are not a free man, but a slave.

          On a less preachy side, what do you expect someone to do when you punish them and then continue to punish them by insuring they can’t reintegrate back into society (e.g. removing some of their fundamental rights)? Are you really that shocked that recidivism rates are that high?

        • I’m with JPD. I might see things differently if convicted felons (real felonies like injury hit and run, ADW, etc.) could do a better job of keeping clean. They can’t, so once they decide that their personal gain or vendetta outweighs someone else’s rights, they lose theirs.

        • Mason, Once again, the perfect world problem. IF our judicial system worked, IF people would forgive someone when their sentence was complete, IF we were successful in rehabilitation. I would be there with you.

          However, until those areas improve greatly, society must protect itself as best it can, in the real world. So, keeping firearms out of the hands of felons convicted of violent crimes???

          Still works for me.

        • It’s kind of weird that you selected violent felons when it seems like the overwhelming majority of felons are for non-violent offenses. I’d be willing to bet that a lot of non-violent felons are for simple drug possession. Do you support incarceration and removal of rights for non-violent felons? What do you expect these people to do when you make sure that they can’t reintegrate? Do you think it is easy to find a job with a felony? A place to live?

          I understand we don’t live in a perfect world, but I thought the point of incarceration was both punishment and rehabilitation. I don’t see that we’re all that interested in rehabilitation.

        • Mason, I am agreeing with most of what you have to say. I would love to see a society that accepting the non violent felon back, with full rights. But, people do not forgive and forget. Our system is set up against it.

          So, sorting out the good guys vs. the bad guys. Today? In America? Home of the Unforgiving? Good luck with that.

          Yes, going to jail is punishment and rehab. However, we need to face facts. No state in the Union, cares about rehab. A revolving door, where politicians act like they care. They do not.

          So, back to my earlier post, Until an effective Justice system is put in place, Those people get the short end of the stick.

          I do not like it, but we are light years away from fixing it.

  2. The people that will scream about “blood in the streets” will point to the theater shooting in Colorado, and the congresswoman shooting in Arizona. In their mind if a law saves one life, then it is worth infringing on the rights of thousands, millions, etc. Just like child proof caps on medicine bottles. “If it saves one life!” then it is ok to cause hundreds of thousands of old people with arthritic hands to struggle to get the damn bottle open. When the REAL solution is to teach kids to not open pill bottles, teach people the proper use and respect of firearms, teach people to be civil towards their fellow man…… oh what the hell was I thinking, I forgot, none of us is responcible for anything we do, it is ALWAYS someone else’s fault.

    • Another +1. I was going to make some snarky comment about people-hoarding (reality show coming to a cable station near you), but you beat me to it.

      Actually, I think that’s what the Duggars (aren’t they from Louisiana?) in the 18 Kids & Counting show are doing: making their very own hoard of people.

  3. RF, as I believe you’ve opined previously… It’s interesting how concealed carry used to be a sign of ill intent, whereas open carry was what the honorable citizen did.

    After a century of increasing population density and changing culture, it’s now the citizen carrying concealed (in some states, VERY concealed) who is the accepted member of society because they go armed but don’t frighten the gun-shy.

    Can’t wait for CalGuns Foundation to bring shall-issue CCW to my county here in CA, especially now that the legislature has done us the favor of outlawing open carry. Pity mine is on the list of counties they predict will be the last bastions of resistance to liberalizing CCW permit issuance.

    • AG, I live in Alameda county where even the walmarts don’t sell ammo. I’m not holding my breath waiting for shall issue here. When my wife retires I plan on taking my income to a more gun friendly place, unless there’s a drastic and unforseen change here.

      • I’m in the same county. Imagine my horror when I made an exception to my general practice of not shopping at Walmart only to discover that they didn’t carry ammo.

        From what I understand from posts on the CalGuns forums, though, the Milpitas Walmart does stock ammo. Haven’t checked it out for myself yet.

        • Yes AG the Milpitas walmart stocks ammo. They get a load in every Tuesday. I buy a lot of my practice ammo there. And they’re not far from Target Masters west. a gun store/ indoor practice range.

  4. >’I am trying to ensure that when police encounter such individuals they retain the ability to distinguish the “good guys” from the “bad guys” and the legal authority to act accordingly before the shooting begins.’

    Before the shooting begins, yes, our mighty pre-crime division! Hallelujah for them and their pre-crime scanner with which cops can just point a flashlight into a potential mass shooter and the red light starts to blink! Yes!

  5. “I am trying to ensure that when police encounter such individuals they retain the ability to distinguish the “good guys” from the “bad guys”…”

    If this is the litmus test for criminality the police are using it would go along ways to explaining why liberals dont want you to have guns – they are once again looking out for our safety by trying to prevent us from getting shot by cops who mistake us for “bad guys”. Again, a complete abstraction/simplification of reality. That is, bad guys have guns, good guys have uniforms, all else are innocent civilians in need of protection from the state.

  6. Louisiana Constitution — “This shall not prevent the passage of laws to punish those who carry weapons concealed.”

    That’s a clear-cut statement in the State Constitution that concealed carry is “wrong”, and is therefore rightfully “punishable” because it is (LA State) Constitutionally presumed to be an evil act, properly forbidden.

    It’s time to erase that assumption of evil in concealed carry. After all, the anti-2A. advocates keep telling us “It’s not the wild, wild West anymore”.


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