Jeremy Alford

Not much bang in LA gun laws

by Jeremy Alford

A national advocacy group is describing Louisiana’s gun laws as “weak or non-existent.” The Brady Campaign awarded the Bayou State two out of 100 points in its annual survey of U.S. states, in which Louisiana, Kentucky and Oklahoma are tied for the bottom spot.

The Brady Campaign is named after Jim Brady, who was partially-paralyzed from gunshot wounds during the failed assassination attempt on former President Ronald Reagan in 1981. The press briefing room in the White House was also named in his honor in 2000.

The group’s new report suggests that most states, like Louisiana, have actually helped feed the illegal gun market and eliminate off safety measures. "Once again, the scores for most states are abysmal,” says Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign. “Most people don't realize how few laws we have on the books restricting easy access to guns. As a result, we continue to make it too easy for dangerous people to get dangerous weapons."

Helmke says Louisiana’s score actually dropped this year, which can be directly attributed to the state’s new, so-called “take your guns to work” law. Since August, employers have been prohibited from banning guns that are kept in their employee parking lots. Act 684 from the 2008 regular session was sponsored Sen. Joe McPherson, a Democrat from Woodworth.

The report also shows that Louisiana has no laws regarding a waiting period on all gun sales, reporting lost guns, limitations on “junk” handguns, background checks on all sales and for several other areas. To take a look at the full Louisiana scorecard.