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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More

Louisiana Gun Laws

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Introduction

Louisiana is in the deep south of the United States. The state is notable for the confiscation of lawfully owned firearms in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This confiscation precipitated the passage by Congress of the Stafford Act, which prohibits any law enforcement agency receiving federal funds from confiscating lawfully possessed firearms in the time of declared emergency or disaster.  Starting August 1, 2013, Louisiana began issuing lifetime conceal and carry permits to its residents. Open carry is generally legal in Louisiana even without a permit to carry, but may be restricted in some localities.

Louisiana is bordered by Arkansas on the north and the Gulf of Mexico to the south.  Mississippi borders Louisiana on the east, and Texas is its western border. Louisiana has a population of about 4,600,000 people.

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A. State Constitution

Regarding the right to bear arms, the Louisiana Constitution states:

“The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms is fundamental and shall not be infringed. Any restriction on this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.”

[http://gunla.ws/w6s6]

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B. Scope of Preemption

The controlling language of the Louisiana preemption statute is set forth as follows:

“No governing authority of a political subdivision shall enact after July 15, 1985, any ordinance or regulation more restrictive than state law concerning in any way the sale, purchase, possession, ownership, transfer, transportation, license, or registration of firearms, ammunition, or components of firearms or ammunition; however, this Section shall not apply to the levy and collection of sales and use taxes, license fees and taxes and permit fees, nor shall it affect the authority of political subdivisions to prohibit the possession of a weapon or firearm in certain commercial establishments and public buildings.”

[http://gunla.ws/la1]

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C. Reciprocal Carry

By statute, Louisiana will recognize another state’s license to carry if that state recognizes Louisiana’s license:

“A current and valid concealed handgun permit issued by another state to an individual having attained the age of twenty-one years shall be deemed to be valid for the out-of-state permit holder to carry a concealed weapon within this state if a current and valid concealed handgun permit issued by Louisiana is valid in those states.”

Anyone contemplating reciprocal carry should check with the official list maintained by the Louisiana State Police at the point in time the reciprocal carry is to occur. Reference Louisiana’s reciprocity agreements here: [http://gunla.ws/la2]

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D. Duty to Inform Officers

A permittee armed with a handgun must notify a LEO who approaches the permittee in an official manner or with an identified official purpose that he has a weapon on his person, submit to a pat down, and allow the officer to temporarily disarm him. Whenever a LEO is made aware that an individual is carrying a concealed handgun and the LEO has reasonable grounds to believe that the individual is under the influence of either alcohol or a controlled dangerous substance, the LEO may take temporary take possession of the handgun and request submission of the individual to a department certified chemical test for determination of the chemical status of the individual. Whenever an officer is made aware that an individual is behaving in a criminally negligent manner, or is negligent in the carrying of a concealed handgun, the LEO may seize the handgun, until adjudication by a judge. [http://gunla.ws/t7lm]

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E. NFA Items

Louisiana permits ownership of all NFA items, provided they are legally obtained pursuant to federal law. Hunting with suppressors is legal.

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F. Carrying Firearms in Vehicles

Louisiana permits anyone who is legally allowed to possess a firearm to transport or store such firearm in a locked, privately-owned motor vehicle in any parking lot, parking garage, or other designated parking area. [http://gunla.ws/la3]

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G. Self-defense Laws

Louisiana has both Castle Doctrine and SYG laws. There is no duty to retreat from any place You have a legal right to be. You may use force, including deadly force, in defense of yourself or others if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death, SBI, the commission of a forcible felony, or to stop the unlawful & forcible entry into Your dwelling, place of business, or occupied motor vehicle. Deadly force may also be used if reasonably necessary to stop an intruder from using unlawful force against an occupant of a dwelling, business, or occupied motor vehicle in the course of a robbery.

[http://gunla.ws/la4]

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H. Criminal Provisions

Under Louisiana law, a license to carry a handgun is not valid in any of the following places or circumstances:

  • On school property, a school sponsored event, or in a firearm-free zone (including within 1,000 feet of school property, any school campus, or school bus)
  • While on the premises of an alcoholic beverage outlet, or any portion of an establishment selling alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, unless You are the owner or an employee. (There remains a conflicting statute in place that permits carry into a place that serves alcohol if it has a Class A-Restaurant permit)
  • While under the influence of alcohol or a controlled dangerous substance (under the influence of alcohol is considered a blood alcohol level of .05)
  • Any place banned by federal law
  • A law enforcement office, station or building
  • A detention facility, prison or jail
  • A courthouse or courtroom
  • Any polling place
  • Any meeting place of a governing authority
  • The state capitol building
  • Any areas within an airport which carrying is prohibited by federal law (unless in a carrying case and properly prepared to be checked as luggage)
  • A place of worship (church, synagogue, mosque, etc.)
  • A parade or demonstration
  • Any portion of an establishment selling alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises

For a list of places where carrying a firearm is prohibited, see:

[http://gunla.ws/la5]

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I. Do “No Gun Signs” Have the Force of Law?

Yes. If a property or establishment has a “No Guns” sign or the person in lawful possession communicates to you that guns are not allowed, You are prohibited from carrying on the property or into the establishment. Failure to obey such signs or verbal warnings constitutes trespass.  Furthermore, no individual to whom a concealed handgun permit is issued may carry such concealed handgun into the private residence of another without first receiving the consent of that person. [http://gunla.ws/fxbn]

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J. Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

Louisiana law generally prohibits a person from intentionally carrying a firearm, openly or concealed, while on the premises of an alcoholic beverage outlet, which includes any commercial establishment in which alcoholic beverages are sold in individual servings for consumption on the premises, whether or not such sales are a primary or incidental purpose of the business of the establishment. However, this prohibition does not apply to the owner, lessee, or employee of such an outlet, to law enforcement officers, or to a person possessing a firearm in accordance with a concealed handgun permit on the premises of an alcoholic beverage outlet which has been issued a Class A-Restaurant permit. [http://gunla.ws/r570]

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K. Open Carry

Open carry is legal in Louisiana without a permit. Places listed in the “Criminal Provisions” above apply to those who open carry. The state preempts all firearm laws in the state and local authorities cannot have laws/ordinances prohibiting open carry unless such law of a local government was in place before July, 15, 1985.

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FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

Table of Contents

About the author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More