Louisiana Legalizes Concealed Carrying For Citizens

Louisiana became the latest state to legalize concealed carrying for residents who do not have a gun permit, hoping the new law will serve as a way to combat “rampant” crime.

On February 20, the Bayou State Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation in a 6-1 vote that allows a constitutional stipulation for citizens to carry a firearm without a concealed carrying permit, a move that came as a response to rising criminal acts.

The vote of approval came after Louisiana’s Republican Gov. Jeff Landry had promised to sign any bills related to concealed carrying for protection that made it to his desk. Senate Bill 1 is designed to secure the right of adults 18 years and older to conceal carry a gun without explicit permission from the government.

Tuesday’s vote occurred during a special legislative session that was focused on law enforcement and crime issues. On February 21, the newly elected Landry took to X to point out that the session was his “top priority” during his campaign and remained his “number one issue” once he was sworn into office.

He also said that the legislative session was Louisiana’s “opportunity” to adjust policies and “prioritize victims over criminals,” giving citizens “a fighting chance” to defend the future of the state.

The bill eliminates the need for adults who have no legal barrier from owning a gun to obtain a concealed carry license before keeping a handgun on them for protection.

Republican Sen. Blake Miguez, the bill’s author, said that the legislation is a response to the reality that “crime is rampant.” He explained that the bill provides “law-abiding citizens limited options to defend themselves and their property.”

Miguez added that Senate Bill 1 seeks to make the state “a safer place,” citing the fact that criminals “already carry” guns with no “regard for the law.” The new law, therefore, simply gives citizens “equal footing.”

Similar legislation has been introduced in Louisiana for three consecutive years. Most recently, it was proposed in May 2023, leading up to its recent approval.

In addition to Louisiana, 27 other states have enacted laws which allow adults to carry a handgun without a permit. Constitutional carry bills have been approved in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.