Gun bill would let off-duty cops carry guns in bars

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The 2014 Louisiana Legislative session is a couple months away, and state representatives began pre-filing bills this week. House Bill 10 from state Rep. Henry Burns, R-Haughton, would allow off-duty law enforcement to carry firearms inside bars and restaurants that serve booze. A similar bill was introduced last year but was killed by the Senate Judiciary Committee chaired by state Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans.

Burns told WWL-FM, "If a law enforcement officer was in a place like Applebee's right now with his gun, currently he would be breaking the law. ... I would feel safer, not only for me but for my family, knowing a law enforcement officer that was at an establishment could take what I call the ministry of intervention. The ability to stop someone who is trying to do harm to someone else."

Jeremy Alford reported that Austin Badon, D-New Orleans, plans to file a bill that qould require people buying a gun to register for safety courses. Badon introduced a similar measure last year, but it was killed before the House Criminal Justice Committee.

Last year, Gov. Bobby Jindal signed into law seven bills that he said "improve gun safety" and "strengthen Second Amendment protections" — including a measure that creates a lifetime concealed carry permit, and a measure prohibiting the publication of permit holders' information. That bill met criticism from members of the Louisiana press. Louisiana Press Association director Pamela Mitchell told Gambit that the law is "blatantly unconstitutional." The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence slapped Lousiana with an "F" for its 2013 session.

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