HB 140 Would Force Cities to Allow Guns in Recreational Centers Where Children Play
BATON ROUGE, La. — The Louisiana chapter of Moms Demand Action, part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, today criticized the Louisiana House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice for voting to advance HB 140, which would eliminate the authority of local governments to prohibit guns in certain businesses and public buildings – including businesses that serve alcohol and buildings where children play. Volunteers with the Louisiana chapter of Moms Demand Action submitted testimony against the bill, and the Louisiana Municipal Association is strongly opposed to the bill.
“We shouldn’t have to worry about the threat of gun violence at recreation centers or in restaurants,” said Angelle Bradford, volunteer with the Louisiana chapter of Moms Demand Action. “I’m so disappointed that some lawmakers are supporting a policy that stops cities like Baton Rouge from making common-sense choices to prevent gun violence.”
“Mayors and local leaders across the state are doing their part to keep us safe from gun violence in park buildings and recreation centers,” said Julia Bishop, a volunteer with Tulane University Students Demand Action. “But instead of supporting them, some of our lawmakers are working to undermine their public safety efforts while saddling them with additional costs at a time they can least afford it.”
HB 140 would force city-run recreational facilities to allow guns in community buildings where children play. Cities like Baton Rouge and New Orleans have chosen not to allow guns in recreation centers run by the Baton Rouge Recreation and Parks Commission and New Orleans Recreation Development Commission, respectively. But this bill would force mayors and police chiefs to allow guns in community centers where families gather. The bill would also impose new security costs on cities, compelled to allow guns into sensitive areas where children play, at a time that they can least afford them.
HB 140 would also invalidate decisions made by localities including New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Thibodaux, Lafayette, Hammond, and Mandeville to prohibit firearms in businesses where alcohol is sold and consumed. Under this bill, Louisiana municipalities would have no authority to prohibit guns in such places. Cities and other municipalities should have the flexibility to make their own public safety decisions, especially in these uncertain times.