HB 281 Would Tie the Hands of Local Governments That Attempt to Pass Gun Violence Prevention Measures
HB 235 Would Dangerously Expand Louisiana’s Stand Your Ground Law
BATON ROUGE, La. — The Louisiana chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today criticized the Louisiana House for voting to advance HB 281, which would undermine the ability of mayors and local police chiefs to keep their communities safe, and HB 235, which would expand Louisiana’s Stand Your Ground law to allow any person to shoot and kill someone in a place of worship.
“Lawmakers should be doing everything in their power to prevent gun violence in Louisiana,” said Angelle Bradford, volunteer leader with the Louisiana chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “But instead, they’re passing bills that would undermine local public safety efforts and encourage violence in houses of worship. This is the opposite of what’s needed to address Louisiana’s gun violence crisis.”
HB 281 is a preemption bill that would eliminate the authority of local governments to prohibit the possession of firearms in commercial establishments and public buildings, including establishments that serve alcohol and buildings where children play.
Preemption laws undermine the ability of mayors and local police chiefs to keep their communities safe. The bill is opposed by the Louisiana Municipal Association, which represents the state’s villages, towns and cities. More information on preemption laws is available here.
HB 235 would expand Louisiana’s Stand Your Ground law to allow any person to shoot and kill someone in a place of worship, even if they aren’t a threat. The bill allows any person inside of a place of worship to kill someone who is unlawfully in the building and the shooter thinks is attempting to commit any crime, even if the shooter does not fear injury, opening the door for the bill to be exploited. Under this bill, a person could shoot to kill someone for as little as damaging church property.
There is no research indicating that Louisiana’s existing self-defense law is not working. Last week, prominent Baton Rouge pastor Herman Kelly opposed the bill in the Baton Rouge Advocate. More information on the danger of Stand Your Ground laws is available here.