File photo. (Wes Muller/Louisiana Illuminator).
The National Association for Gun Rights, a proponent of a Louisiana bill that would allow residents to carry concealed weapons without obtaining permits or being trained, had harsh words Tuesday for the Louisiana lawmakers who supported the bill during the regular session but declined to override Gov. John Bel Edwards’ veto. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Jay Morris (R-West Monroe)
In a news release, the organization says it “denounces” Republican senators Patrick Connick (Marrero), Franklin Foil (Baton Rouge) and Louie Bernard (Natchitoches) and Democratic Sen. Gary Smith (Norco) for not following their support of the legislation with a vote to override the governor.
Sen. Ronnie Johns (R-Lake Charles) is not at the Louisiana Capitol this week he says because he’s recovering from a July 7 knee replacement surgery, but the NAGR says Johns “decided to be absent during the session, further aiding in the failure of the Governor’s veto of SB 118 being overridden.”
“What these senators did today is pure cowardice, plain and simple. While Constitutional Carry remains the most popular gun rights legislation across America, law-aiding Louisianans have been abandoned by their elected officials,” said Dudley Brown, President of the National Association for Gun Rights, said in the news release.
When he vetoed Morris’ bill, Gov. John Bel Edwards wrote in a statement, “I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, and an enthusiastic outdoorsman and hunter. But I simply cannot support carrying a concealed firearm without proper education and safety training — and I believe a majority of Louisianans agree with me. Simply put, it is not too much to ask that a person who wishes to carry a concealed weapon in public be required to attend basic marksmanship and safety training so they understand the regulations associated with such an action.”
In the NAGR statement, Brown says his organization is “not leaving Louisiana any time soon. I look forward to holding these spineless politicians accountable come election season, and during the next legislative cycle, we’ll double down on getting making Constitutional Carry a reality in Louisiana.”
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