State Rep. Danny McCormick’s House Bill 131 to allow concealed carry of firearms without a permit or training fails the commonsense test. It would accelerate the presence of hidden guns even deeper into our daily lives.
The proliferation of guns must be checked and balanced with permitting and training. States with weak gun laws have more death by guns.
Mississippi has the weakest gun laws in the country and the highest death rate by guns. New Mexico’s permissive gun laws allowed an 18-year-old gunman to purchase and conceal an AR-15 and a Glock pistol. Lawfully armed, he then killed three elderly women, wounded two police officers and injured four others.
Mass shootings are now commonplace at work, grocery stores and schools. The U.S. ranks first in the world with 226 mass shootings in 2023, including 16 school shootings, K-12. Guns are the leading cause of death for children in the U.S.: 6,023 children were killed or hurt by guns in 2022, up from 5,708 in 2021. The NRA/Republican quest for easy access to guns has turned the United States into killing fields.
How did our country descend into this savagery? Legislators like ours put their own self-interests above communities they serve. They promote the NRA agenda to earn “A” ratings and contributions for their campaign coffers, while ignoring the needs of their constituents who want safe communities. For example, the Republican-controlled legislature in Missouri recently approved no minimum age to carry firearms in public. Concerned about kids walking around with AR-15s? Missouri has an “A” rating from the NRA.
Louisiana also earned an “A” with one of the highest firearm mortality rates in the country, just like other “A-listers” Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri and Wyoming. We must change. Turn the tide on gun violence in Louisiana. Defeat HB131.
J. LUIS BAñOS Jr.