LA Firearm Laws
Louisiana is well-known for its relatively lenient firearm laws. As on open-carry state that typically does not require background checks to purchase a firearm, it's fair to say that the Second Amendment is a major priority in the state.
For clarification, “firearm” means any pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, submachine gun, black powder weapon or assault rifle which is designed to fire, capable of firing fixed cartridge ammunition or from which a shot or projectile is discharged by an explosive.
However, not everyone can have a firearm in Louisiana. If you were convicted of a crime, your Second Amendment rights are strictly limited. Ten years after a sentence, parole, probation or suspension of a sentence is completed, you may be eligible to possess a firearm under certain conditions. But if you have a court-issued permanent injunction or a protective order against you, you cannot own or possess a firearm for the duration of your order.
As such, let's review some of Louisiana's firearm restrictions for certain people, including convicted criminals.
Louisiana generally prohibits a person who has been convicted of certain felony offenses from owning or possessing a firearm or concealed weapon:
- a crime of violence as defined in R.S. 14:2(B) that is a felony
- simple burglary
- burglary of a pharmacy
- burglary of an inhabited dwelling
- unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling
- felony illegal use of weapons or dangerous instrumentalities
- manufacture or possession of a delayed-action incendiary device
- manufacture or possession of a bomb,
- possession of a firearm while in the possession of or during the sale or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance
- any violation of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law that is a felony
- any crime which is defined as a sex offense
- any attempt to commit one of the above offenses
If you were convicted of the following crimes, a judge may order the transfer of all your firearms and suspend your concealed handgun permit:
- domestic abuse battery
- second or subsequent conviction of battery of a dating partner
- battery of a dating partner that involves strangulation
- battery of a dating partner when the offense involves burning
- possession of a firearm or carrying a concealed weapon by a person convicted of domestic abuse battery and certain offenses of battery of a dating partner
- domestic abuse aggravated assault
- aggravated assault upon a dating partner
- any felony crime of violence for which a person would be prohibited from possessing a firearm and the victim was a family member, household member, or dating partner
Federal laws prohibit people from selling or otherwise disposing firearms or ammunition to anyone with a mental illness. Under R.S. §1379.3, to qualify for a concealed handgun permit, a Louisiana resident cannot “suffer from a mental or physical infirmity due to disease, illness, or intellectual disability which prevents the safe handling of a handgun.”
Protecting Your Firearms Rights
The state's complex firearm laws can easily confuse a person who doesn't have competent legal counsel in their corner. The last thing you need is to suffer a criminal charge simply because you didn't know you were breaking the law. Unfortunately, the prosecution will not have mercy on your lack of knowledge regarding Louisiana's firearm restrictions. Instead, they may seek to punish you with the maximum sentence permitted by law. Don't let this happen to you.
Next Blog: Key Facts to Know for Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Previous Blog: DWI & License Suspensions