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Thread: Louisiana: The only way to follow the law entirely is to open carry?

  1. #1
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Lynnwood, Washington, USA

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    I was going through and I saw these little gems:

    If you read the entirety of that statute, it states:

    (5) Any constitutionally protected activity which cannot be regulated by the state, such as a firearm contained entirely within a motor vehicle.

    Is there any court rulings on the open carry being a constitutionally protected activity?

    The reason this situation has occured is because of the structure of the laws that were passed in 1996. Previous to Louisiana going shall-issue CCW in 1996, there was a may-issue dual layer system, where you can apply for a license from the parish sheriffs for licensing in that jurisdiction for concealed carry and it was only valid in that parish. After that point, you had the option to apply to the State Police for a permit that was statewide in validity. Now keep in mind, though there was wording in there that made it appear shall-issue, there was also wording there to make it may-issue, and therefor subject to abuse. Certainly Orleans Parish significantlly abused it.

    Those licenses exempted one from the "firearm free zones" law. When the Legislature passed 40:1379.3, the statewide CCW licensing system, they did not change the law exemption from the .1 permits to the .3 permits.

    There are also a few quirks in the law. 40:1379.3 has places where a person licensed cannot carry a CONCEALED handgun. Open carry seems to be fine in these places as it is not prohibited, at least by 40:1379.3. If you happen to have an .1 permit from the parish sheriff, or somehow miraculously manage to get an .1 permit from the state police (they state that they will only issue .3 permits, even though they have an obligation under state law to issue .1 permits), you can carry concealed in these places.

    However, it does not mention open carry at all.

    There's also other sections that firearms bans in general:


    Prohibits possession of firearms and other dangerous weapons on the campus of a school, school bus, or school sponsored function. There is no constitutional exemption.

    Prohibits carrying of a firearm in a "Alcoholic Beverage Outlet". Exempts employees and owners and police, does not have a constitutional exception.

    I'm also calling into question Louisiana's anomalous open carry status. AG Opinion 78-795, states the following:

    It is the opinion of this office that the state statutes aforementioned have
    the purpose of establishing a general scheme to control weapons (handguns) and
    that a fair reading of those statutes show this would constitute an area in
    which the state has pre‑empted the legislative control and has implicitly
    authorized the carrying of unconcealed weapons.
    Therefore, an ordinance enacted by a Parish and/or Municipality requlating
    the carrying of exposed handguns would be without effect as being in conflict
    with State Law.

    We hope this opinion has adequately answered your questions. If we may be of
    any further assistance in this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to
    call upon us.

    Keep in mind that this was before the preemption statute actually passed. The language of 14:95 has not significantly changed. Basically, the AG's office declared that any local law that prohibits the open carrying of firearms is violative of implied preemption. Just because the legislature passed a specific preemption statute, doesn't the implied preemption that is existant in 14:95 goes away. Simply enough: Due to 14.95, open carry is legal, even a local ban was passed before 1985.


  2. #2
    Regular Member
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    May 2006
    , Louisiana, USA

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    The right to open carry is prescribed in the Louisiana Constitution Article 1, Section 11 I believe. The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, but nothing in this shall prevent the passage of laws to restrict concealed firearms. That is not the actual wording, just as my memory recalls. Go read the Constitution and look at Art.1,Sect.11.

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