Saturday, July 13, 2024

Louisiana GOP officials criticize New Orleans’ stance on open carry law

by BIZ Magazine

(The Center Square) – The New Orleans Police Department designated its district station in the French Quarter as a school this week to work around the state’s open-carry law with a gun-free zone and state officials are blasting the move.

The new law, signed by Gov. Jeff Landry on May 13, allows concealed carry of a firearm without a permit with a few exceptions, including impairment by drugs or alcohol.

It went into effect on July 4 and made Louisiana the 29th state with so-called constitutional carry.

One of those exceptions in the existing concealed carry law is a ban on firearms within 1,000 feet of a school.

New Orleans Police Superintendent Anne Kirkpatrick said in a news conference earlier this week that the Eighth District Station would “soon fit the definition of a vocational-technical school” and within a 1,000-foot radius, be a “firearms-free zone.”

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and other city officials were vehemently opposed to the passage of Senate Bill 152’s passage as part of the Legislature’s special session devoted to crime.

Louisiana Attorney General Liz Murrill wrote on social media “schools have classrooms, not booking rooms” and that she looked forward to “further discussions” with the New Orleans Police Department and city officials on the matter.

In a statement, the Republican said the city “cannot avoid state law by unilaterally designating police stations ‘vo-tech locations.'” She also cautioned the city that the school designation for the district station could subject the city to civil rights lawsuits if arrests are made due to the “made-up designation, which is clearly not legal or effective.”

She also added that she hoped “the NOPD isn’t violating people’s rights by making up their own rules, which is why the Department is under a federal consent decree.”

Sen. Blake Miguez, R-New Iberia, was the author of the state’s open-carry law. He took to social media to criticize the city’s action.

He wrote, “Instead of focusing on ridiculous legal work arounds to deprive law-abiding citizens of their #2A constitutional right of self defense, New Orleans officials should use their energy to enforce and prosecute violent criminals under the current law. Gun free zones DO NOT increase public safety but are instead a magnet for crime. They are used by anti-gun politicians to score political points and provide emotional comfort to those who fear guns.”

Miguez continued his critique of the city’s decision, writing, “The problem is that violent criminals use these areas to their advantage to prey on their next victim. Law-abiding citizens who don’t have government funded security guards need the ability to carry a concealed handgun to protect themselves and their families from the same violent criminals that keep being let back onto the streets to reoffend.”

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