Bobby Stands Up For Freedom
(The Times-Picayune) - Conservative Republican Governor Bobby Jindal signed two bills into law Friday (May 23) that will expand gun rights for Louisiana residents after they received overwhelming support from the state Legislature. The new statutes will go into effect Aug. 1.
The more sweeping of the two gun rights measures will allow people with concealed handgun permits to carry their weapons into restaurants that serve alcohol, but make most of their money from food sales.
Present law does not allow citizens to carry guns into establishments that serve alcohol. And while people with concealed handgun permits will be able to go into a restaurant serving alcohol soon, they still wouldn't be able to drink alcohol while packing heat.
The soon-to-be law also gives current and retired law enforcement officers as well as district attorneys and judges even more flexibility than the general public when it comes to concealed weapons. Those in law enforcement would be allowed to carry guns into bars, though they also couldn't drink while carrying a weapon.
In present law, law enforcement officers are only allowed to have their guns in a bar if they are acting in an official capacity. Even under the new law, local sheriffs will still be able to prohibit their own officers from carrying guns into bars if they didn't think it was a good idea.
The second bill signed by Jindal will expand the "stand your ground" law in Louisiana. Under current law, a person who kills an intruder coming into his car or house is given the benefit of the doubt and can use self-defense as a lawful reason for the killing. But the same self-defense argument could not be legally applied to situations where a person hurt, but didn't kill, the intruder.
Metairie Rep. Joe Lopinto, the sponsor of the legislation, said he wanted to close that loophole. People who end up harming -- but not killing -- an intruder or a carjacker should not be charged with murder if those who kill those people don't face those consequences, he said.