Edwards releases statement following veto of concealed carry bill

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Thursday, Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoed Senate Bill 118, which would have allowed Louisiana residents ages 21 and older to carry concealed firearms without a permit.

The legislation would have removed mandatory background checks and firearms safety training courses that are currently required to carry a concealed firearm.

The Senate approved it 27-9, and it passed the House with a 73-28 vote.

State law allows residents to carry a firearm without a permit — only if that weapon is exposed and visible to the public.

Read the governor’s statement following his veto of the bill:

“I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, and an enthusiastic outdoorsman and hunter. But I simply cannot support carrying a concealed carry firearm without proper education and safety training – and I believe the majority of Louisianans agree with me. Our current system strikes the right balance of ensuring that people can bear arms while also keeping reasonable permitting and training processes in place. It is a matter of basic public safety and numerous law enforcement leaders across the state opposed the bill for this reason, especially as it relates to the enhanced risk posed to their officers. Simply put, it is not too much to ask that a person who wishes to carry a concealed weapon in public be required to attend basic marksmanship and safety training so they understand the regulations associated with such an action. That’s reasonable and responsible, and for these reasons, I have vetoed the permitless carry bill.”