Posted on Mar 12, 2018 in Uncategorized
With the recent national debate regarding gun control, gun violence and gun laws in general have come to the forefront. Violent crimes in New Orleans are consistently a concern for the community, however, gun violence is particularly a cause for concern in our city. In 2017, there were almost 500 fatal shootings in the New Orleans area. We consistently have clients and friends asking what their constitutional rights as a gun owner are within the State of Louisiana.
The Louisiana and U.S. Constitutions guarantee a citizen’s right to bear arms. The State of Louisiana is an open carry state, meaning that a person who legally owns a firearm may carry it openly in public. Additionally, a person with a concealed gun permit may carry a concealed weapon in public. While there is great freedom allowed under Louisiana law to bear arms, there are laws in place in New Orleans that limit this right for the protection of the general public.
First, it is illegal to possess a firearm on school property, in a government building, or within a private establishment which posts that guns are not permitted. One law particularly of interest to those who live in or are visiting New Orleans is that it is illegal to possess a firearm in an alcoholic beverage outlet. This means, regardless if a person has a concealed carry permit or not, he may not possess a firearm in an establishment that sells alcohol for consumption on the premises under La. R.S. 14:95.5. Possessing a gun in the presence of a controlled dangerous substance is also a felony crime.
Besides laws regarding guns in the presence of alcohol, drugs, or on government property, convictions of certain crimes can prohibit a person from owning or possessing a firearm. When a person is convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors such as domestic violence, he loses his right to own or possess a firearm for a period of time. If a convicted felon is found in possession of a firearm, he or she could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison for that offense. Additionally, when a person is on probation the court may, in its discretion, limit his gun rights during probation.
While it is a right to own a firearm, it is important for every gun owner living or visiting the city of New Orleans to understand his or her rights for the safety of himself as well as the general public. If you are arrested for a gun related crime, you need an experienced New Orleans criminal defense attorney. At Bloom Legal, we have the experience and resources to provide you with a robust and comprehensive defense.