© 2024 Red River Radio
Voice of the Community
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Potential Legal & Safety Risks of Permitless Conceal Carry

WOSU Public Media

Louisiana joins Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma which also have permitless conceal carry.

Louisiana has now become the 28th state in the country that allows residents to carry a concealed handgun without a permit. In our four state region, Louisiana joins Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma which also have permitless conceal carry. On February 28, 2024, the Louisiana House passed Senate Bill 1 in a 75-28 vote. Governor Jeff Landry signed SB 1 into law the following week, on Tuesday, March 5.
Like Arkansas, Louisiana will join a number of other states where the law would apply to those as young as 18 – when it goes into effect on July 4th.
[Eight states allow 18-year-olds to permitless conceal carry: Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Vermont. Four states allow 18 years of age for members of the military: Georgia, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee].
Back in 2021, Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards vetoed similar legislation. Then, in Spring 2023, during the regular legislative session in Baton Rouge, another similar bill was considered, as well.

U.S. Concealed Carry

In all, Gov. Landry has signed 11 bills this week, that came out of the special legislative session in late February, with the stated goal of cracking down on violent crime in Louisiana. Other tough-on-crime legislation that lawmakers approved includes an expansion in death row execution methods to include the use of nitrogen gas and electrocution.
Another new law all but eliminates parole for anyone convicted after August 1, 2024, with few exceptions. And still other bills will treat 17-year-olds who commit a crime as adults and publish court minutes for youth accused of violent crimes.
Supporters of permitless conceal carry call it “constitutional carry” because they felt the permit process was unconstitutional. This legislation will negate not only the cost of a government permit, but also requiring you to have your fingerprints taken or having to complete a firearm training course. A recent study of 11 states that removed concealed carry licensing found rates of violent gun assaults increased by 32%.
Lawmakers also approved a bill that provides a level of immunity from civil liability for someone who holds a concealed carry permit and uses their firearm to shoot a person in self-defense. Even without a permit, there are still restrictions on carrying a firearm in certain areas, including schools, churches, police states, courthouses, and the capitol.
Yet, even among some gun advocates, there are a few concerns. Chief among them is the lack of gun safety training. This includes education about when you can and cannot use lethal force. By law, a person must reasonably believe there is an imminent threat of death or serious physical harm to yourself or others.
That sounds simple enough in theory. But in real-life scenarios accurately defining “imminent threat” is critical. For example, if an alleged attacker suddenly turns away, and no longer poses an imminent threat at that moment, you cannot shoot that person in the back. The same is true for someone who runs away. You cannot chase them down and shoot them.
Here's another scenario to consider. Let’s say it’s 3:00 a.m. and you see a trespasser trying to break into your car in your driveway, so you confront the person armed with your gun. Former Gun range owner and firearms Instructor Paul Murray explains, “You’re the one that’s introducing a gun into the situation. If the other guy doesn’t have a gun. He’s just, maybe all he had was a screwdriver and he broke into your car, I can’t go out and shoot him because he’s in the car. Now, if I’m in the car and he does that, yeah, that’s a different story because your home, your vehicle is considered an extension of your home. And if you’re inside it and somebody comes up and busts the window and they’re grabbing you, that changes everything because your life is in danger.”


Murray cautions that simple trespassing or property crime is not an imminent threat and using lethal force, without exacerbating circumstances, can land you in prison. That’s why Murray strongly urges people to get safety training because ignorance of the law is not a legal defense.
Murray strongly urges new gun owners, with no previous training to seek it out immediately. Beyond knowing the intricacies of “shoot – no shoot scenarios,” he says training can also help break any bad habits that a gun owner may have in handling a firearm, which can help prevent situations like an accidental discharge of the firearm which can injure or kill you or someone else. This too can lead to criminal charges depending on the exact circumstances.
Firearms safety training can also help emphasize the correct way to store your firearm(s), which can help prevent a tragic situation unfolding with children, for example, or allow the weapon to be stolen. Such situations also come with their own potential exposure to criminal charges.

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, and a graduate of the University of Washington, Jeff began his on-air broadcasting career 33 years ago in the Black Hills of South Dakota as a general assignment reporter.