Open and Concealed Gun Carry Laws in Louisiana
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Louisiana protects the right to bear arms under Article I, Section 11 of the state constitution, but this does not mean that everyone may carry a gun, or that you may always carry a gun wherever you like. Louisiana requires a license to carry a concealed weapon on (or near) you body. Under a new law, people who qualify may obtain lifetime concealed carry permits. (La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1379.3.) Renewable permits are still available. Until August 1, 2013, all gun owners were required to register their guns with the state, but the registration law has since been repealed. (La. Rev. Stat. §§ 40:1379.1, 40:1379.3.) For more information on permitting laws, see Gun Permit Laws in Louisiana and Weapons Charges in Louisiana.
The following sections explain who may not have a gun, and the circumstances or situations when carrying a gun is illegal.
People Who May Not Carry a Gun in Louisiana
The following individuals are prohibited from carrying a concealed weapon in Louisiana:
- people younger than 21 years old
- illegal aliens
- fugitives from justice
- convicted felons
- unlawful users of controlled substances
- people who have a physical or mental infirmary that prevents the safe handling of a firearm
- people who have been committed to a drug abuse treatment facility or have been convicted of specified crimes involving controlled substances within the last five years
- people that chronically and habitually use alcohol in a way that impairs normal functioning (presumed when people have been convicted of certain crimes involving alcohol use, such as drunk driving)
- those who have been convicted of certain violent crimes or have a history of violent behavior
- people who have been adjudicated as mentally deficient or committed to a mental institution
- those who have been dishonorably discharged from the armed services
- people ineligible to possess a firearm under federal law, and
- people who have had a concealed carry permit application denied within the past year, or had a permit revoked within the last four years.
(La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1379.3.)
Situations or Circumstances Where Carrying a Gun is Illegal
It is illegal to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. But even with a permit, it is illegal to carry weapons in some locations. You may not carry a firearm:
- in a firearm-free zone (within 1,000 feet of a school campus, or within a school bus)
- into a law enforcement office or building
- in jail or prison facilities
- in a courtroom
- at a polling place
- in government offices or meeting places, including the state capitol building
- in secured areas of airport facilities
- in an establishment where alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on the premises
- within a church or synagogue (or other similar place of worship), or
- during a parade.
(La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1379.3.)
In Louisiana, it is a crime for a person to publish or disseminate any information contained in an application for a concealed carry permit, or otherwise identify a person who has a concealed carry permit. There is an exception for law enforcement officers and employees of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections when a person with a concealed handgun permit is charged with a felony that involves the use of a handgun. (La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1379.3.)
Penalties for Gun Carry Violations
Penalties for carrying a concealed firearm without a permit in Louisiana include a fine of up to $500, up to six months in jail, or both. A second conviction can incur up to five years in prison, and a third or subsequent offense incurs up to ten years in prison without parole. Publishing the identity of a person with a concealed carry permit or the person’s application information is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of $5,000 if the defendant is a law enforcement officer or Department of Public Safety and Corrections employee, and $10,000 if the defendant is not. (La. Stat. Ann. § 14:95.) For more information on sentencing in Louisiana, see Louisiana Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences and Louisiana Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences.
Getting Legal Help
The penalties for violating gun carry laws are serious, and often include harsh fines and long prison sentences. If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to carry a gun in Louisiana, or if you are facing charges for a gun violation, consult a qualified local criminal defense lawyer.