On Wednesday at 1:00 p.m., the Louisiana House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice will consider HB 140, a preemption bill that would force city-run recreational facilities to allow guns in community buildings where children play and would compel cities and parishes to let guns into establishments where alcohol is served.
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.
There are also many examples of adults mishandling guns, children gaining access, and unintentional discharges in recreational areas. In Kentucky, children were rushed off a playground when a gun was found where they were playing. In Michigan, an off-duty officer unintentionally discharged his weapon during a wrestling tournament. In Tennessee, a child unintentionally discharged a gun that was left under the bleachers in a church gym.
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. If you’d like to interview a Louisiana Moms Demand Action volunteer ahead of the hearing, don’t hesitate to reach out.