How Would Constitutional Carry Affect Reciprocity for Gun Owners?
A House-passed bill that would allow adults over 21 to carry a concealed weapon without a permit is scheduled for Senate Committee review Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Baton Rouge. If it passes, how will it affect Louisiana's reciprocity agreement with other states?
Louisiana House Bill 596 will allow citizens 21 and older to carry a concealed handgun without a permit if passed. A similar bill was vetoed last year by Governor John Bel Edwards and a veto override attempt by the Louisiana Senate failed.
Currently in Louisiana, to obtain a concealed carry permit you have to attend a training class, undergo a background check, and file your application and necessary fees with the Louisiana State Police. According to The Advocate, Louisiana State Police spend about $700,000 for the permitting process and bring in about $5 million in revenue annually. One of the privileges of obtaining a concealed carry permit in Louisiana is the reciprocity you receive in other states, allowing you to conceal carry there as well.
If Louisiana House Bill 596 were to pass, Louisiana would no longer enjoy reciprocity with other states, despite former agreements.
To be fair, there are 25 states that now allow constitutional carry, and more are likely to follow. In short, we don't need to worry about reciprocity agreements in Alabama starting January 1, 2023, in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio starting June 12, 2022, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Here are the states where Louisiana residents may have issues with carrying a concealed weapon in if Louisiana does away with concealed carry permits. Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Michigan only recognize concealed carry permits specifically from Louisiana residents, not those issued to non-residents in Louisiana. Other states with reciprocity agreements with Louisiana include Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Louisiana's concealed carry permit is not recognized in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, New York City, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, or Washington D.C.
Does the possibility of losing your ability to concealed carry in other states change how you feel about House Bill 596? In the interest of transparency, I'm a CCW permit holder in Louisiana and a proponent of gun rights, but I also believe in copious amounts of both skills and safety training. However, this may all be a moot point because Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has already promised to veto this piece of legislation if it makes it to his desk without providing for training for permit holders.