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Bill allowing people 21 and older to conceal carry without permit breezes through Louisiana House



LOUISIANA – A bill that would allow citizens 21 and older to carry a concealed handgun without a permit breezed through the Louisiana House on Wednesday.

The measure, House Bill 596, won approval 72-28 after a short but spirited debate.

It next faces action in the state Senate, which approved a similar bill last week by an equally lopsided margin.

Under current rules, citizens have to undergo safety training and a background check to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon

The legislation would do away with those requirements.

Rep. Bryan Fontenot, R-Thibodaux, sponsor of HB596, said there is a balance between constitutional freedoms and government mandates. “I believe that training should be required but the constitution says we have the right to possess firearms,” Fontenot told the House.

He said State Police spend about $700,000 on the permitting process, including background checks, and collect about $5 million per year.