NEW ORLEANS - On Thursday, Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro will speak out against a proposed amendment that would take away the legislature's power to regulate possession of concealed weapons.
Just after noon, Cannizarro will address the amendment that will require any laws restricting the right to bear arms to pass the highest level of judicial scrutiny.
Louisiana Constitutional Amendment No. 2 would delete the line in the state constitution that says the right to bear arms shall not prevent the passage of laws to prohibit carrying concealed weapons.
"The district attorney is not opposed to the laws that presently exist that protect the rights of gun owners...There's only three states in the United States of America that have less restrictive laws than Louisiana...However, this would dramatically expand those rights,"said Chris Bowman, the spokesman for the D.A.'s office.
The law that states a person must obtain a permit before carrying a concealed weapon is in constitutional jeopardy, Bowman said.
"We don't believe it's going to add to public safety to have everybody possessing a concealed weapon," he said.
Fighting violent crime will become more difficult if there is a proliferation of guns on the street, Bowman said.
"Louisiana has the third highest death by firearms in the United States. New Orleans has one of the highest murder rates," said BGR President Janet Howard. "There is just no good reason, as far as we can see, to create uncertainty in this area and make it more difficult to regulate guns than it currently is."
Supporters, though, said "strict scrutiny" is all about common sense.
"A legislator from some parish or whatever wants to make something that's non-sensical - like banning assault weapons or sales in a certain parish - you'd have to be under strict scrutiny to see if that's actually reasonable," Peterson said.