La. House cracks down on domestic violence

The Louisiana House overwhelmingly passed three bills Thursday morning that would strengthen penalties for people convicted of domestic violence crimes and add extra protections to their victims.

State Rep. Helena Moreno, a New Orleans Democrat, sponsored the measures. All three passed without a single “no” vote.

House Bill 753 would make it illegal for anyone to carry a gun if a court has issued a permanent injunction or protective order against them related to a crime of domestic violence. The ban on carrying a gun would be lifted once the court removes the injunction or protective order.

The law would also make it illegal to carry a firearm or concealed weapon by a person convicted of domestic abuse battery, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.

Domestic violence convicts would be allowed to start carrying a gun again 10 years after the completion of their sentence.

It passed on a 99-0 vote.

House Bill 750 would give law enforcement officers leeway to arrest someone if the officer has reason to believe a family member, household member or dating partner has been abused. The law would also give officers a directive to immediately arrest domestic violence perpetrators if they are in violation of protective orders.

The bill passed on a 98-0 vote.

House Bill 747 would add domestic abuse aggravated assault to the state’s list of violent crimes. The bill would also increase the potential penalty for offenders convicted of second offense domestic abuse battery from six months to one year.

The legislation further says that an offender in possession of a weapon during an instance of domestic battery is not eligible to be released from jail on their own recognizance or based on the signature of a third party.

The bill passed on a 98-0.

A number of women lining the House balcony applauded after the passage of each bill. Protocol usually requires House security or legislative leadership to quiet any such outbursts. But that didn’t happen in this case. The women were allowed to show their appreciation for legislators’ votes.