NEW ORLEANS — Constitutional Carry is back on the table in Louisiana, supporters call it 'constitutional carry', believing it should be allowed under the second amendment.
Legislators have tried to pass “constitutional carry” in Louisiana many times before – allowing any law-abiding gun owner over 18, to carry a concealed handgun in the state. Louisiana would be the 27th state to implement the practice.
It’s a bill that’s been met with expected pushback for the third year in a row.
Dr. Ashraf Esmail Criminal and racial justice expert from Dillard University says there are serious concerns with allowing untrained and unpermitted gun owners to carry in public.
"The trends are showing that the homicide and gun violence in the states that do not require permits are on a significant increase, so if we see these patterns things are going to get significantly worse," he said.
He says, statistically, it's rare people pull a gun out in self-defense, and law enforcement officials have largely pushed back against constitutional carry bills.
Dr. Esmail said, "It's not about self-defense, because very few cases or none of the cases involve self-defense, people are acting aggressively when they shouldn't."
There’s also concern about safety in cities that struggle with gun violence. Lionel Simmons lost his two daughters to shootings in New Orleans. Sully Simmons was shot and killed at the end of April at the intersection of Orleans and Broad, gunned down steps from her house, her toddler in the back seat.
"It's already like the wild wild west out here, if we let people have guns unrestricted it's going to be all over the place," Simmons told Eyewitness News. "It's devastating, who would imagine I would lose my two youngest girls, the way that I lost them. It's unbearable actually."
He says he understands people wanting to protect themselves, but says the state needs to make sure guns don't fall into the wrong hands.
"I really don't see how they could let that go. without a permit and no background checks nothing like that, I don't think that will fly."
Still – back at the Capitol – there’s advocates who say other states have already passed the bill, and so should Louisiana.
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