Trio of gun rights bill breeze through House; Expand access in churches to ‘protect ourselves’

Trio of gun rights bill breeze through House; Expand access in churches to 'protect ourselves'

House Republican Delegation chairman Blake Miguez, R-Erath, speaks committee, May 6, 2020. With veto-proof majorities, the Louisiana House Friday approved three gun rights bills – two would limit local governments from banning the concealed carrying of firearms and the sale of weapons during an emergency; the third would allow guns into churches regardless of what congregants decide. Thibodaux Republican Rep. Bryan Fontenot, a former a Thibodaux police officer and justice of the peace, said recent rash of church shootings – the latest taking place in Texas four days after Christmas 2019 – is reason enough to expand the ability to carry guns into a place of worship. "It’s a sad day when we have to have a discussion about how we protect ourselves when we bow our head," said Fontenot, who sponsored House Bill 334 . He argued that pastors still would have to grant permission. State Rep. Joe Marino, No Party-Gretna and criminal defense lawyer, disagreed. The language of the measure repeals “in their entirety” the sections of state law that now details the conditions in which someone is allowed to carry concealed weapons into a church, synagogue, or masque the section of state – including authorization by “the pastor, priest, minister or other authority,” who then must inform the congregation. The legal conditions lifted also include requirements for an “additional eight hours of tactical training” for anyone authorized to carry a concealed weapon into a place of worship. Federal law prohibits carrying weapons into parochial schools, which […]

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