Can I carry a gun in Louisiana?
Firearms laws differ from state to state and even between cities. The state of Louisiana has gun laws that are specific to its state. When the question arises if someone can carry a gun in Louisiana, the answer is a resounding, it depends on who is asking the question and how they plan to carry the weapon. It’s important to understand all of the facts so you don’t get caught up in gun charges for your actions.
In this article, we have broken down the answers to this question to help you understand who, how, and when you are allowed to carry a gun in Louisiana. When visiting cities like Shreveport, New Orleans, and others here is what you need to know about carrying a gun in Louisiana.
Concealed Handgun Carry for Residents of the State
We will get to citizens of other states visiting Louisiana, but for now, let’s discuss concealed carry for state citizens. To carry a concealed firearm as a citizen of the state of Louisiana you must first possess a concealed handgun permit, as explained by New Orleans criminal defense attorney Barkemeyer Law Firm.
This permit has requirements such as:
- Be at a minimum of 21 years old
- Pass a firearms training course
- Pass a background check
- Be a full-time resident (six months minimum), or military personnel stationed in Louisiana
As long as the applicant meets these requirements and pays any required fees, they are able to carry a concealed handgun on their person. Permits are good for five years and require a renewal to continue after the five year period.
Out Of State Residents and Concealed Handgun Carry
Non-residents of the state of Louisiana are not allowed to receive a concealed carry permit. They are, however, allowed to carry if they have a permit from the state they reside in and Louisiana has an agreement with that state to allow their permit holders to conceal carry in the state of Louisiana.
Open Carry of Firearms
Outside of concealed handgun permits, it is legal to openly carry a firearm in the state of Louisiana. This means that as long as you have a firearm in plain view, you are allowed to carry it within non-restricted areas. There are no permits required for the open carrying of a gun. Once you conceal a handgun inside clothing, etc, you are no longer open carrying and required to have a permit.
Restrictions for Concealed Carry Permitted or Open Carry
Whether you have a concealed handgun permit or are planning to open carry, there are some restrictions in the state on where you can have a gun in your possession. Below are a few places that you are not authorized to carry even with a permit as explained by Shreveport criminal defense lawyer, Carl Barkemeyer.
- Prison or jail
- A courthouse
- A building being used to cast votes
- The state capital building
- A law enforcement office
- Where prohibited by federal law within airports
- Any place of worship
- A permitted parade
- School firearm free zones
- Establishments that are licensed to sell and have alcohol consumed onsite
Private companies can also forbid firearms on their premises. This is enforced as a trespassing charge if the person carrying disobeyed the private owner’s rules after notice. If you see a sign forbidding firearms onsite or are asked to leave the premises due to carrying a gun on private property, leave the premises immediately.
Carrying a Gun in a Car
As in other states, it is legal to carry a firearm in your vehicle in the state of Louisiana since your automobile is considered an extension of your home. Take care however as issues such as having a felony conviction and others can have a bearing on possession even in your own vehicle. Also, vehicles such as public transportation and taxis are not considered an extension of our home.
Local Ordinances and Carrying a Gun
Each municipality and parish will have its own local ordinances for firearm restrictions. However, as of now, state laws supersede and ordinances unless they were created prior to 1985, as those have been grandfathered into the current law. It is up to the person carrying a gun to understand if any local ordinances are in place where they plan to carry a firearm.
Arrest For Carrying a Gun
Simply because there are laws in place to protect persons who carry guns does not mean you will not ever have an issue with law enforcement. This is why it is important to have attorneys available to you if you find yourself arrested while carrying a firearm and facing gun charges.
How does this happen? Being arrested for carrying a gun can occur for a variety of reasons.
- The police officer is not properly trained
- You made a mistake and forgot to remove your gun before entering a restricted area
- There is a local ordinance you were not aware of
- You did not fully understand all of the restricted areas you cannot carry
- And others
The point is, at some point, you could find yourself charged with carrying or trespassing. If this happens, you should contact a defense attorney who is experienced in both open carry and open carry laws and requirements of Louisiana.
What to Do If Arrested for a Gun Related Charge in Louisiana
Other than contacting an attorney, there is one for sure thing that you cannot do when arrested for carrying a gun. Do not argue or fight with the arresting officer. You can have your day in court, and an experienced attorney will defend your rights.
Even if the arrest is illegal you can still be charged with assaulting an officer if you fight back. Remain calm, cooperate and let your attorney fight the charges for you.
The state of Louisiana has several options for carrying a gun within the state. Whether you are a resident or not, there are ways that allow you to arm yourself as long as you follow any state and local restrictions legally placed upon you. If you do find yourself in trouble on a gun charge, make sure you contact an attorney who will defend your case professionally and effectively.
Barkemeyer Law Firm is a criminal defense attorney committed to helping you with your case. We hope you now understand everything you wanted to know about your question, “Can I carry a gun in Louisiana?” and ask you to reach out at any time.