Months before the 2013 legislative session, GOP lawmakers pre-filed a rash of bills in response to "gun control threats" from the Obama administration in the wake of the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., last December. Four of those bills got closer to Gov. Bobby Jindal's desk as they passed the Senate Judiciary Committee May 7.
House Bill 5 from State Rep. Jim Morris, R-Oil City, met little opposition in committee. The bill seeks to block any federal legislation that restricts gun owners from owning semi-automatic weapons. State Rep. John Schroder, R-Covington, saw passage of his House Bill 6, which allows off-duty law enforcement to carry weapons on school campuses. State Rep. Jeff Thompson, R-Bossier City, was able to pass his House Bill 8, which seeks to fine anyone who publishes conceal-carry permit holder information. (That bill has met considerable criticism from state media organizations, including the Louisiana Press Association.)
The committee also passed House Bill 265 from State Rep. Barry Ivey, R-Central. The bill would create lifetime conceal-carry permits.
Meanwhile, in a separate Senate committee, Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, killed House Bill 48 by State Rep. Henry Burns, R-Haughton, who sought to allow concealed-carry permit holders to bring their weapons into restaurants that serve alcohol. Also last week, the Senate Education committee passed House Bill 718 from State Rep. Bob Hensgens, R-Abbeville, who wants to require school officials to coordinate live-shooter drills, training and violent emergency response plans with local law enforcement.
These bills now head to the Senate floor for debate. — ALEX WOODWARD