Louisiana - House panel OKs concealed weapons on college campuses

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Thread: Louisiana - House panel OKs concealed weapons on college campuses

  1. #1
    Member Array senseiturtle's Avatar
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    Louisiana - House panel OKs concealed weapons on college campuses

    - Breaking News from New Orleans - Times-Picayune - NOLA.com


    House panel OKs concealed weapons on college campuses

    by Ed Anderson, The Times-Picayune
    Thursday May 01, 2008, 1:45 PM

    BATON ROUGE -- Despite opposition from student government leaders and top state education officials, a House committee Thursday took the first step toward allowing authorized concealed weapons on college campuses.

    Members of the Committee on the Administration of Criminal heard emotional arguments on both sides for three hours before voting 11-3 for House Bill 199 by Rep. Ernest Wooton, R-Belle Chasse, a former sheriff and the panel's chairman.

    The panel rejected an amendment to exempt private colleges from the bill. The measure heads to the House floor for debate.

    State law now bans guns from being carried onto college campuses as well as other sites, such as the State Capitol, police stations, courts, churches and governmental buildings.

    "We are not going to have 20,000 students lining up tomorrow morning to get a concealed weapons permit" if this bill passes, Wooton said. He said it is designed to give student a more secure feeling in light of recent violence on campus. The bill requires that the gun holder be 21 years old and have a valid concealed weapons permit.

    Joseph Savoie, president of the Board of Regents, the agency that oversees all higher educational institutions, said that similar bills have been killed in 15 states this year; only two states are still in play: Arizona and Louisiana.

    "Colleges have a legal duty to provide a safe environment for their students, employees and visitors," Savoie said. "This legislation takes away our colleges' discretion over this crucial safety issue and greatly expands the state's liability."

    "What are we opening up our colleges to?" asked Rep. Barbara Norton, D-Shreveport, one of the three lawmakers who voted against the bill. "It looks to me like we are getting ready for war."

    The panel also rejected a hostile amendment by Rep. Roy Burrell, D-Shreveport, another opponent of the bill that would have allowed guns to be carried where state law now bans it, including elementary and high schools and churches. Burrell's amendment was rejected 10-2.

    ----------

    Baby steps :)

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    Senior Member Array Roadrunner's Avatar
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    Way to go Louisiana! Let's hope it goes all the way.
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    Sounds like there may be a few leaders with 'some round ones'...go LA...
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    Better safe than sorry.
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    Looks like this is catching on. Hope it continues to spread.
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    Distinguished Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by senseiturtle View Post
    - Breaking News from New Orleans - Times-Picayune - NOLA.com


    House panel OKs concealed weapons on college campuses

    by Ed Anderson, The Times-Picayune
    Thursday May 01, 2008, 1:45 PM



    "What are we opening up our colleges to?" asked Rep. Barbara Norton, D-Shreveport, one of the three lawmakers who voted against the bill. "It looks to me like we are getting ready for war."

    Hah! We are already at war. . . how long will it take these bumbling idiots to realize this and actually allow responsible people to defend themselves against a criminal who does not obey gun-free zone rules??
    “I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry.”
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tally XD View Post
    Hah! We are already at war. . . how long will it take these bumbling idiots to realize this and actually allow responsible people to defend themselves against a criminal who does not obey gun-free zone rules??
    Was my exact thought.


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    Senior Member Array Jackle1886's Avatar
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    A refreshing step in the right direction.

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    An 11-3 vote is nothing to sneeze at. There must have been some compelling arguments made. Way to go LA
    Keep emotionally active. Cater to your favorite neurosis.

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    its a good start, way to go LA House!

    ...but I'd still prefer the amendment to allow carrying into schools and churches...for the same principle
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    Senior Member Array MilitaryPower's Avatar
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    I hope it passes so it can influence Florida!
    Gun control can be blamed in part for allowing 9/11 to happen.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Oregon does not make it illegal to carry on campuses, yet campuses are still expelling students and firing staff/faculty found to carry. As it stands now, you can carry, sure, but you lose your teaching career and/or education. (Lesson #246, and it's not in the syllabus, Johnnie.)

    Question: Does anyone know if this Louisiana legislation would bar schools from engaging in any punitive action against staff, faculty and students in any manner whatsoever, with stiff "teeth" in the law to provide incentive to obey that part of it?

    "What are we opening up our colleges to?" asked Rep. Barbara Norton, D-Shreveport, one of the three lawmakers who voted against the bill. "It looks to me like we are getting ready for war."
    Well, duh. Welcome to our world, at last, lady. She's in Louisiana and saw first-hand the degree to which her own state's citizens were crucified in the post-Katrina aftermath, and she still fails to see the reality? That's one tough set of blinders she's got, if that message didn't get through.

    As already noted, we are already at war. Criminals are already coming onto school campuses, into our homes and businesses, and everywhere else we go, ignoring the law each and every day. PROHIBITION DOES NOTHING to protect innocents. Only the ability to protect innocents does. Most-effective way to do that is simply relax the targeting of innocents that exists on the books, by allowing citizens to carry. Allow 150M upstanding adult citizens to help protect themselves everywhere they go. They can do what ~750K LEO's simply cannot, by simply being there and having a chance of resisting on the instant of the crime going down.
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    It would be nice if it becomes law. I will be back at school, unarmed, this summer. Crime is spilling onto college campuses. We've had at least two people robbed at gunpoint in parking lots at my school that I've heard of.

    Louisiana law already allows one to keep a weapon in their dorm and carry between dorm and vehicle. However, all school's policies forbid this. If this new bill becomes law I wonder how long it will take for the schools to prohibit it with new policy.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by myusername View Post
    If this new bill becomes law I wonder how long it will take for the schools to prohibit it with new policy.
    Well, that's just it. So long as schools ignore the law and are allowed to damage careers and education prospects, it won't change much. And I'll bet that unless there are razor-sharp teeth in the law, schools will continue to do just that.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Well, that's just it. So long as schools ignore the law and are allowed to damage careers and education prospects, it won't change much. And I'll bet that unless there are razor-sharp teeth in the law, schools will continue to do just that.
    Exactly, If I get expelled for doing something legal under the law I may be able to sue them but that isn't going to make another school accept me after an expulsion. If I do sue it would be said that I knew school policy and chose to break it.

    There is an old AG opinion that it is not lawful for the schools to make a policy that will not allow a student to keep a weapon in their dorm or the carry it between dorm and vehicle. But they all do it. I'm not sure if the cited statutes have changed since this opinion but I do not think they have. I know that AG opinions are not binding and I am hoping to find a court ruling involving this.

    Office of the Attorney General
    State of LOUISIANA

    Opinion No. 94 131
    July 26, 1994

    22 B EDUCATION Colleges & Other Institutions of Higher Learning
    LSA R.S. 14:95.2C(8) (Acts 1993, No. 1031, H.B. No. 122)
    LSA R.S. 14:95.2C(6)(7) and (8)
    LSA R.S. 14:95.2B(4)
    LSA R.S. 17:3351(C)(3)
    LSA R.S. 17:3351(C)(3)(F)
    Article II of the United States Constitution
    Pursuant to LSA R.S. 14:95.2C(8):
    1) Students are not required to have the permission of the administration to
    possess a firearm in his or her dormitory room or while going to or from his or
    her vehicle.
    2) A student is allowed to carry a firearm on his person on campus as long as
    he states he is going to or coming from his or her vehicle and the
    circumstances support his or her statement.
    3) A university policy may not prohibit the possession of a firearm in
    dormitory rooms.
    4) A university policy may not prohibit the possession of a firearm on ones
    person while on school property if the individual is a student and if he or she
    states that they are going to or returning from his or her vehicle or any other
    person who is in possession of a firearm with the permission of the
    administration.
    5) A university policy cannot require that all personal firearms be stored at
    a university provided facility until checked out for use by the owner.
    6) There is no distinction between handguns, rifles, and shotguns in the
    firearm definition of this statute (LSA R.S. 14:95.2B).

    Representative Charles McDonald
    P. O. Box 1495
    Bastrop, LOUISIANA 71221 1495

    Dear Representative McDonald:

    You have requested an opinion from this office regarding Act 1993, Number
    1031 H.B. No. 122 subsequently enacted as LSA R.S. 14:95.2 pertaining to the
    meaning and intent of a statute which concerns carrying a firearm by a student
    or non student on school property or firearm free zone. You state that LSA R.S.
    14:95.2 C is ambiguous and appears to defeat the purpose of a Firearm Free Zone
    if liberally translated. Section C of the statute lists the exceptions to the
    Firearm Free Zone. Specifically, you are concerned with exception C (8) which
    states that the provisions of this section shall not apply to:

    A student who possesses a firearm in his dormitory or while going to or
    from his vehicle or any other person with permission of the administration.
    You ask the following questions:
    1. Does the above statement mean that students must have permission of the
    Administration to possess a firearm in his dormitory room or while going to
    or from his vehicle?
    2. Does the above statement allow a student to carry a firearm on his
    person on campus as long as he states he is going to or coming from his
    vehicle?
    3. May University policy prohibit possession of a firearm in dormitory
    rooms?
    4. May University policy prohibit possession of a firearm on ones person
    while on school property?
    5. May University policy require that all personal firearms be stored at a
    university provided facility (i.e. University Police) until checked out for
    use by the owner?
    6. Is there a distinction between handguns, rifles, and shotguns in
    the firearm definition in this Act?
    As you know, LSA R.S. 14:95.2 C(6)(7) and (8) were enacted by the LOUISIANA
    Legislature in 1993, and therefore, there are no reported court cases yet to
    guide us on the interpretation of LSA R.S. 14:95.2C(8). Therefore, your
    questions must be answered by a plain reading of the statute.
    The State Legislature has provided a statute that covers the interpretation
    of any criminal law in LOUISIANA. LSA R.S. 14:3 states that criminal laws:
    Shall be given a genuine construction, according to the fair impact of
    their words, taken in their ususal sense, in connection with their context
    and with reference to the purpose of the provision.
    Therefore, LSA R.S. 14:95.2C(8) must be interpreted according to its plain
    meaning. Your first question is:
    1.) Does the above statement mean that students must have permission of the
    Administration to possess a firearm in his dormitory room or while going to
    or from his vehic1e?
    No, this subsection of the statute uses the disjunctive word "or" which is
    defined in Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary (1988) to mean
    "[a]n alternative". Therefore, section 8 lists three different situations in
    which an exemption to this statute is allowed.
    The second questions states:
    2) Does the above statement allow a student to carry a firearm on his
    person on campus as long as he states he is going to or coming from his
    vehicle?
    Unfortunately, yes. If a "student" states that he or she is going to or from
    his or her vehicle and the circumstances appear to support this statement, then
    the university is without a means to prohibit such action by a student. Please
    keep in mind this does not apply to "non students" which are defined in LSA
    R.S. 14:95.2B(4) as "any person not registered and enrolled in that school or a
    suspended student who does not have permission to be on the school campus."

    Question three states:
    3). May university policy prohibit possession of a firearm in dormitory
    rooms?
    No, subsection 8 specifically provides for "[a] student who possesses a
    firearm in his dormitory room" as an exception to the Firearm Free Zone. Once
    again, please keep in mind that this does not apply to "non students".
    Question four states:
    4). May university policy prohibit possession of a firearm on ones person
    while on school property?
    No, subsection 8 specifically allows for the possession of a firearm on ones
    person while on school property in two instances. One is while a student is
    going to or from his or her vehicle and the other is with permission of the
    Administration.
    Question five states:
    5). May university police require that all personal firearms be stored at a
    university provided facility (i.e. University Police) until checked out for
    use by the owner?
    No, subsection 8 provides otherwise. Additionally, Article II of the United
    States Constitution gives the people of the United States the right to bear
    arms. Although LSA R.S. 17:3351(C)(3) mandates that university management
    boards must adopt a policy that requires each institution to develop and adopt
    written security rules, regulations, and procedures, such rules shall not limit
    the rights given to individuals as provided by the United States Constitution
    and state laws. LSA R.S. 17:3351(C)(3)(F) requires a university to establish
    LOUISIANA rules and regulations ". . . governing the possession and use of
    firearms by employees, students and visitors." However, as stated above, these
    rules must be within the confines of the law.
    Question six states:
    6). Is there a distinction between handguns, rifles, and shotguns in the
    firearm definition of this act?
    No, there is a definition section in the statute, but it does not contain a
    definition of a firearm.
    I hope this opinion has sufficiently addressed your concerns. If I can be of
    any additional assistance please let me know.

    Very truly yours,

    Richard P. Ieyoub
    Attorney General

    By: Beth Conrad Langston
    Assistant Attorney General
    La. Atty. Gen. Op. No. 94 131
    END OF DOCUMENT

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