The Council for a Better Louisiana on Thursday urged rejection of a controversial proposed constitutional amendment expanding gun rights that’s on the Nov. 6 ballot.
“Louisiana is already recognized by national groups on both the right and the left as one of the states where gun rights have some of the greatest protections ... We support gun rights and are satisfied with the current language in our constitution,” CABL wrote.
The opposition came as the governmental issues lobbying group released its position on nine constitutional propositions facing voters.
The group supported six constitutional propositions, including one that would expand local property tax exemptions for certain non-manufacturing businesses, and opposed two — the gun rights measure and one dealing with a property tax break for the spouses of disabled veterans.
CABL took no position on a proposal that would shield the Medicaid Trust Fund for the Elderly from potential budget raids in times of state revenue problems. But in its commentary, CABL wrote, “This constitutional amendment is unnecessary.”
The gun rights proposal, pushed by the National Rifle Association, would subject any restriction on the constitutional right to bear arms to “strict scrutiny” by the courts; removes constitutional language allowing the Legislature to pass laws dealing with carrying concealed weapons; and broadens the current right to “keep and bear” arms to include the right to acquire, possess, carry, transfer and use firearms.
“CABL does not believe that there is any danger that this or any future Legislature will ever pass an overly restrictive gun law that citizens would not support,” CABL wrote. “Nor do we — or most people, for that matter — think the restrictions we currently have are unreasonable or out of line.”
CABL also supported proposed constitutional amendments that would:
- Require more advance public notice of legislation affecting the state’s public retirement systems.
- Allow judges to order forfeiture of public pension benefits in cases where public employees are convicted of crimes related to their jobs.
- Give the city of New Iberia the authority to determine whether it wants to offer property owners a local tax exemption.
- Clear up the makeup of six major state boards in the wake of Louisiana’s loss of one of its seven congressional districts.
- Require more advance public notice and details of legislative proposals that would create new crime prevention districts.