- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 3, 2015

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana state Sen. Bret Allain says retired lawmakers should have expanded conceal-carry privileges because decisions they make at the Capitol may have “angered” voters.

Retired lawmakers “have a history of things they’ve done in their career that may have provoked anger,” the Franklin Republican argued as he attempted to tack the perk on to an existing bill giving retired judges and district attorneys the same special privileges.

His colleagues disagreed.

Though the Senate overwhelmingly supported a measure by Rep. Kenny Cox, D-Natchitoches, extending the benefits to the retired judges and district attorneys, senators balked at Allain’s proposal, shooting down his amendment 27-11.

The failed amendment would have allowed lawmakers to carry a concealed weapon in an expanded number of places, though a qualifying test would have been required every year to retain the privilege. Those who left office in disgrace would not be eligible for the privilege, and it would have applied only to legislators who served more than one term.

As written, the portion of the bill that was approved does not state what additional places a concealed firearm could be carried or if the same fees citizens pay when applying for a conceal-carry permit will be charged. In a prior committee meeting, proponents said retired officials would be able to carry a gun in places that restrict concealed weapons. The approved portion of Cox’s bill now goes back to the House for a final vote.

Sen. Karen Carter Peterson said Allain’s amendment was about bestowing retiring lawmakers with a special right that everyday citizens don’t receive.

“We are oftentimes accused of being self-serving and making sure we have privileges that other people don’t have,” the New Orleans Democrat said. “Why can’t we treat ourselves as citizens and be subjected to the same processes as citizens?”



House Bill 67: www.legis.la.gov

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