Louisiana State Police and others respond to concerns regarding permitless carry

The head of the Louisiana State Police addressed concerns about a new law that will come into effect in July, potentially hindering law enforcement’s ability to seize firearms in the French Quarter and during large tourism events in New Orleans.

During a Crimestoppers luncheon on Canal Street, Supt. Robert Hodges discussed the matter in his speech on Friday (March 1).

Hodges acknowledged that there are challenges involved in implementing gun-free zones in New Orleans. However, he expressed confidence in the local government’s ability to address this issue. He emphasized the importance of collaboration between the city council and other stakeholders, drawing parallels to gun-free zones in schools and other areas. Hodges believes that by working together, they can ensure public safety in the city of New Orleans.

Starting July 4, people aged 18 and above will be able to carry concealed handguns without the need for training and a state-issued permit. Governor Jeff Landry will be signing the legislation into law next week.

During an interview with Fox 8, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto was questioned about his views on whether permitless carry would act as a deterrent for criminals.

According to Lopinto, the presence of guns does not necessarily deter criminals. He believes that the effectiveness of carrying a gun depends on the individual’s situation. As someone who has been a police officer for a significant portion of his life, Lopinto does not fear law-abiding citizens who possess firearms. However, he acknowledges that there are consequences associated with having a gun.

Carrying a firearm comes with a great deal of responsibility. Those who choose to bear arms must acknowledge this responsibility and be prepared to be held accountable for their actions. It is important to remember that the use of a firearm in self-defense is a rare occurrence.

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St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith expressed his preference for individuals to receive proper training before carrying a weapon.

“I believe that the governor has good intentions and his actions will be beneficial. At our recent meeting in Lake Charles, the Louisiana Sheriffs Association did not make a decision on whether or not to support the governor’s proposal. However, we do have some concerns and we would like to see additional training or training that is mandated,” Smith expressed.

Critics of the bill also expressed worries about the potential risks it could pose to law enforcement officers.

According to Lopinto, his officers always operate under the assumption that someone is armed. He emphasized the importance of being prepared by stating, “We always bring a gun to any encounter.”

Hodges emphasized the importance of adhering to laws and directives, stating, “We will operate within the guidelines provided. Our mission is to ensure public safety throughout Louisiana, not just in New Orleans. We have consulted with other law enforcement officers and are confident in our ability to comply with these new laws.”

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