Walter Pierce

Armed campus bill gunned down on House floor

by Walter Pierce

By an overwhelming margin, the state House of Representatives rejected a bill by a retired lawman that would have allowed persons 21 and older with a concealed carry permit to pack heat on college campuses in Louisiana. The 86-18 vote was a resounding defeat for House Bill 27, authored by Rep. Ernest Wooten, R-Belle Chasse, a former sheriff. This was the second consecutive year Wooten floated the idea of arming college campuses, and, according to a report in The Advocate, he will give it a shot again next year.

The bill met with widespread opposition from university administrators and especially from campus police departments. All of the representatives from Acadiana voted against the measure. Three Democrats joined 15 Republicans in supporting the legislation.

The parliamentary process surrounding the bill reached a ridiculous crescendo when Shreveport Democrat Roy Burrell unsuccessfully offered two so-called “anti-hypocrite” amendments to the bill. The first would have allowed guns in the Capitol; the second would allow concealed weapons virtually everywhere they are currently prohibited, including churches and elementary schools. Read the full Advocate report here.