Yesterday, the Louisiana House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice voted 9 to 5 to pass Senate Bill 303, a bill which would provide for the country’s strongest “right to keep and bear arms” constitutional amendment. SB 303, an “iron-clad” constitutional amendment that would fortify the right to keep and bear arms for all Louisianans, already passed in the state Senate and has been endorsed by Governor Bobby Jindal. SB 303 has also been referred to the House Civil Law and Procedure Committee which must approve all constitutional amendments before they are eligible for the ballot.
Although a hearing date has not been scheduled at this time, it is important that you contact members of the House Civil Law and Procedure Committee and urge them to support SB 303. The roster for this committee can be found here.
Introduced by state Senator Neil Riser (R-32), SB 303 would improve the current provision in the state constitution and provide Louisianans the strongest and most comprehensive constitutional language of any state, guaranteeing your right to keep and bear arms in Louisiana for future generations.
The language of SB 303 reads:
“The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms is fundamental and shall not be infringed. Any restriction on this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.”
This amendment is necessary because the Louisiana Supreme Court eviscerated the current right to keep and bears arms provision in 2001, action which has left Louisianans with little protection from overreaching state-imposed gun control or in the event the Heller or McDonald cases are overturned.
In fact, the current Louisiana provision has been so weakened by the state court that it would likely only prevent a complete across-the-board ban on firearms. By classifying the use of arms as a fundamental right that can only be restricted after strict scrutiny, which is the highest level of legal protection given to other fundamental rights such as life and free speech, SB 303 would strengthen Louisiana’s state constitution and provide a critical defense against future efforts to infringe on Louisianan’s right to keep and bear arms.
Your NRA-ILA will keep you updated as more details regarding hearing date are made available.
Thank you to those who have contacted their state Representative in support of SB 303. The NRA also thanks the following members of the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee who voted for SB 303:
- Representative Joseph P. Lopinto (R-80)
- Representative Bryan Adams (R-85)
- Representative Terry R. Brown (I-22)
- Representative Mickey J. Guillory (D-41)
- Representative Lowell C. Hazel (R-27)
- Representative Valarie Hodges (R-64)
- Representative Frank A. Howard (R-24)
- Representative Sherman Q. Mack (R-95)
- Representative Steve E. Pylant (R-20)
The following committee members voted against SB 303:
- Representative Roy Burrell (D-2)
- Representative Dalton Honore (D-63)
- Representative Barbara Norton (D-3)
- Representative Terry Landry (D-96)
- Representative Helena Moreno (D-93)