By Owen Courreges
September 19, 2016
On Monday, Mayor Landrieu honored his vainglorious pledge made earlier this year to when he signed a new gun ordinance. The final draft of this absurd farce of legislative dreck was mercifully stripped of all provisions that completely merely mirrored existing state law. This left only three remaining restrictions.
1) requiring “the owner of a lost or stolen firearm [to] report the loss or theft to a New Orleans Police Department Officer within 48 hours after discovery of the loss or theft;”
2) prohibiting “[p]ossession of a firearm, or dangerous weapon as defined in L.A. 14:2, on one’s person at any time while in a firearm free zone” including on any “NORDC campus;” and,
3) prohibiting “[n]egligent carrying of a concealed firearm.”
These provisions were specifically chosen by the mayor and the council precisely because they are themselves illegal. The City of New Orleans has no authority to regulate firearms – the state has preempted the field.
As I have noted in previous columns, Louisiana’s firearms preemption law bars local governments from enacting “any ordinance or regulation more restrictive than state law concerning in any way the sale, purchase, possession, ownership, transfer, transportation, license, or registration of firearms” with exemptions for the levying of taxes and fees, as well as laws that prohibit “the possession of a weapon or firearm in certain commercial establishments and public buildings.”
Put glibly, the language of the preemption law is intentionally broad. There’s really no way around it; the purpose was to render firearms laws uniform, and so its purpose would be subverted if preemption were riddled with loopholes.