BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – A bill that would allow people to conceal carry a firearm without a permit or training is advancing in the legislature.

State Rep. Danny McCormick has brought his so-called ‘constitutional carry’ bill for the last few years and was previously vetoed by Gov. John Bel Edwards in 2021. Now the bill is finding easier support through the legislature.

“The Second Amendment states that the right for the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” McCormick said. “Unfortunately, for too long, Louisiana has been infringing on that God-given right, forcing law-abiding citizens to pay a tax while asking government permission. It can be nothing less than infringing on the right to keep and bear arms.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee added an amendment that would raise that age up to 21 from 18 to be able to concealed carry without a permit. A representative from the NRA showed their support for the bill. Some people retracted their support after the amendment was put on, claiming it is unconstitutional to limit this law to just people over 21.

“Twenty-seven states now have passed constitutional carry. In every single state that touches Louisiana has constitutional carry. There is nothing more unjust than to insist that citizens pay for the rights they already have,” McCormick said.

Some law enforcement agencies are coming out against the bill out of concern it will create more danger for officers in the field. Members of the Moms Demand Action group testified against the bill pointing to statistics that states that enact this law see an increase in gun violence. McCormick rebuts those statistics and said due to the rise in crime, more people are wanting to conceal carry to protect themselves. Louisiana is already a permitless open-carry state.

“Add to the fact that there’s no consequences for concealing a gun will only increase the number of urban dwellers who have no firearms education or training to recklessly carry a firearm, not knowing the mechanics of it as well as not having knowledge of when they can legally discharge that firearm,” said Fabian Blache, executive director of the Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police.

One person also pointed out that law enforcement agencies would lose money if the permits and training are done away with. McCormick said the permits are a barrier to law-abiding citizens who want to carry a gun but want to keep it in their purse or pocket. 

This bill now heads to the full Senate for a vote and will be sent back to the House to approve of those amendments if it makes it out of the chamber.