What happens at the Federal level stands to alleviate or exasperate the current gun violence epidemic that Louisiana’s citizens endure every day. There are currently a number of pieces of legislation that intend to accomplish the latter. The federally mandated concealed carry, HR 38/S 446 is a set of bills under which the current Louisiana firearms permitting system would be completely eradicated – what few protections we do have would become nonexistent. For example, currently domestic abusers are barred from the possession of a firearm under the current law. However, with these bills in place, someone with a known and well documented history of domestic violence and abuse would be free to carry a weapon.

In light of all the tragic school shootings of our nation’s past you may be surprised to hear that a current proposal plans to repeal gun – free zones, HR 34; meaning that citizens would be allowed to carry weapons onto school campuses from kindergarten to high school. The proposed veteran’s mental health records removal, HR 1181 would remove over 170,000 mental health records from the background check system. These records currently prohibit severely mentally ill veterans from purchasing firearms, as the veteran population is at a high risk of suicide in comparison to the general population. In addition, deregulating silencers, HR 367/S 59 is a bill created under the pretense of protecting our sense of hearing would, in reality, make it easier for criminals to obtain silencers. When silencers are used in violent crimes, it makes the jobs of law enforcement officials much more perilous and difficult. Instances of gun violence are often discovered swiftly because the sound of gunfire is reported to the police or picked up by gunshot detection systems. Silencers are now readily available to any interested persons who passes a background check so, this bill would in essence simply provide an avenue which allows easy access of silencers for those who can’t pass a background check.

In contrast, Senator Markey of Massachusetts has recently introduced legislation that would work to address the public health issue that is gun violence. The proposed bill would set aside funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in order to conduct or support research on firearms safety and gun violence prevention.

Make an effort to stay informed on the current proposed federal legislation as well as proposed legislation in your home state. As always, never hesitate to contact a representative regarding your stance on said legislation – they are here to represent the needs of their constituencies.