Gun Bills Shot Down At La. Capitol
Legislation that would allow some teachers and administrators to carry a gun on school campuses and lawmakers to carry a gun while they work at the Louisiana Capitol have each been defeated in the La. House and Senate, respectively.
"Right now we have out signs that say 'gun free zone,'" says Chalmette Representative Ray Garofalo, who authored the bill concerning teachers and administrators. "That is a pretty low resistance path for someone who wants to go and kill people...It's like a welcome sign." Rep. says he wants criminals to think twice before going on a killing spree at school. He says there's little resistance on a campus against mentally disturbed people going into a school with a loaded gun, which he says happens way too often.
"They are not going to have the training that the law officials have and there is no way that they are going to be qualified," says Shreveport Representative Barbara Norton, who opposed the bill. "They are teachers." She said this in spite of Rep. Garofalo saying that teachers and administrators would need a concealed handgun permit and undergo training before they are allowed to bring a weapon to school.
"We're putting our children and our community at risk when we just blatantly give the authority for people to carry guns in schools," chimed in New Iberia Representative Terry Landry, a former La. State Police commander who also opposed Rep. Garofalo's bill. He says they chose to be teachers, not policemen.
Rep. Garofalo voluntarily deferred his bill in the La. House Criminal Justice Committee and says he will work to come up with a better one.
Another bill that didn't make it out of this committee was a proposal that would have required first-time gun buyers to receive training before buying a gun.
And on the La. Senate floor, after heated debate, Senate 651, authored by Franklin Senator Brent Allain, was shot down by a vote of 23-12. It would have allowed legislators to carry guns at the La. Capitol.