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Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2023 ‘State Right to Bear Arms in Louisiana.’ Other Laws & Policies. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 27 March

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State Right to Bear Arms in Louisiana

Article I, § 11 of the Louisiana State Constitution of 1974 provides: "The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged, but this provision shall not prevent the passage of laws to prohibit the carrying of weapons concealed on the person."

In State v. Amos, the Supreme Court of Louisiana rejected an article I, § 11 challenge to a state statute that prohibited individuals convicted of certain felonies from carrying firearms. The court held that the right to keep and bear arms is not absolute, and that the state may use its police power to regulate any of the rights present in the Louisiana Constitution "in order to protect the public health, safety, morals or general welfare so long as that regulation is a reasonable one."

In State v. Blanchard, the court reaffirmed its pronouncements in Amos when holding that a state statute providing enhanced penalties for the constructive possession of a firearm while committing a crime of violence, or while possessing or selling drugs, was a reasonable regulation under the Louisiana Constitution. The court found "a rational relationship between the statute's scope, i.e., making it a felony for a person to possess a firearm in connection with a drug offense, even a misdemeanor drug offense, and its legitimate state purpose of preventing drug-related violence."

A Louisiana court of appeal upheld an article I, § 11 challenge to former Louisiana Revised Statutes Annotated § 56:330, which had prohibited the possession of a firearm while taking or hunting frogs at night. The court reasoned that "[t]he prohibition against simple possession of a firearm while frogging bears no rational relationship to any legitimate State interest in protecting its natural resources. Had the statute prohibited the use of a firearm, then perhaps a different case would be presented because a valid exercise of the State's police power might be to protect its natural resources from destruction by persons using firearms."…

[Editor's note: The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence regularly updates its webpages with new data as US gun regulation evolves state by state. For the most up-to-date information on US gun laws, please refer to the Giffords URL below]

ID: Q8238

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