Firearms registration bill advances

A state Senate committee approved House-passed legislation Tuesday that would relieve the State Police from registering the transfer of firearms like machine guns, grenade launchers, flame throwers and bazookas.

“We’re deferring to the feds to basically handle it,” said state Rep. Eddie Lambert, R-Prairieville, who sponsored House Bill 277. The current system takes weeks to complete, he said.

Federal law provisions require both federal and local law enforcement approval to transfer a Class III firearm. Additionally, state law requires approval and collection of identical information by state authorities too.

HB277 would repeal the provisions of state law that require permitting Class III weapons through the state Department of Public Safety and Corrections. HB277 also would prohibit the possession and purchase of firearms that have not been registered or transferred in accordance with the present federal law.

“This does not change the threshold. It reduces some of the duplicative paperwork, said Wade Duty, representing the Louisiana Shooting Association. The bill would reduce the process by weeks and unburden state Department of Public Safety and Corrections personnel, who also are having to process thousands of concealed carry handgun permit applications.

The Senate Committee on Judiciary C voted without objection to report HB277 favorably to the full Senate for consideration. The House approved the legislation on a 97-0 vote May 15.