Prefiled bills all focus on guns

Legislators Monday filed the first three bills for the legislative session that opens April 8 and they all deal with guns.

The prefiled bills would:

  • Create the crime of unlawful storage of a firearm. The legislation by state Rep. Barbara Norton, D-Shreveport, would require people to keep or store a firearms secure in a locked container or equipped with a tamper resistant safety device. A first offense violation would prompt a fine of up to $300.
  • Prohibit federal restrictions regarding ownership or possession of semi-automatic firearms. The bill by state Rep. Jim Morris, R-Oil City, is dubbed the “Louisiana Preservation of Individual Gun Rights of Citizens Act.”
  • Exempt law enforcement officers from the crime of carrying a firearm or dangerous weapon on school property. The bill is by state Rep. John Schroder, R-Covington, who is spearheading a group looking at ways to improve school security.

Also Monday, a north Louisiana legislator launched “Defend Louisiana” — a statewide campaign to defend the gun rights of Louisiana residents and promised more legislation in defense of Second Amendment rights to bear arms.

The activity comes in the wake of a elementary school shooting in Connecticut which left 20 students and six adults dead and renewed gun control efforts by President Barack Obama.

Among the federal initiatives are a ban on assault weapons and creation of a better national data base to ensure that felons and the mentally ill cannot purchase guns.

State Rep. Jeff Thompson, R-Bossier City, plans a statewide tour and petition drive in the weeks leading up to the start of the legislative session, according to a news release announcing the initiative.

“We’ve done some good things to protect the Second Amendment in Louisiana, but we’re not finished yet,” Thompson said in the release.