I do not have a protective order against the abuser, and s/he has not been convicted of a crime. Is there anything I can do?
In Louisiana, there are a number of instances when carrying or possessing a firearm will be unlawful even if the abuser is not a convicted criminal and you don’t have a protective order against him/her. For example, it is unlawful for a person who is under 17 years old to possess a handgun, with some exceptions such as for hunting with a valid license, if the minor is on a parent or guardian’s property, or if s/he is off their property but has his/her parent’s written permission.1 Another example is that it is unlawful for a student or non-student to carry a firearm on school property, at school-sponsored functions, or in a firearm-free zone, with some exceptions such as for law enforcement officers performing official duties.2
Moreover, Louisiana residents are required to possess a valid concealed handgun permit issued by the state of Louisiana in order to carry a concealed handgun.3 A person who has not been convicted of a crime (there are additional requirements for someone convicted of a crime) can qualify for a concealed handgun permit only if s/he meets all of the following criteria. S/he must
- be a resident of the state (which can be proven by showing a copy of a valid Louisiana driver's license or an official Louisiana identification card);
- be at least 21 years old;
- not suffer a mental or physical illness due to disease, illness, or intellectual disability that prevents the safe use of the gun;
- not have been committed for the abuse of a controlled dangerous substance;
- not use alcoholic beverages chronically and habitually to the extent that his/her normal mental abilities are impaired; Note: if a person has been admitted for alcohol treatment within the five-year period before applying for the permit or at any time after handing in the application, it will automatically be presumed that s/he meets the standard of a “chronic and habitual” alcohol user and s/he will not qualify for the permit;
- not use or be addicted to marijuana, depressants, stimulants, or narcotics;
- not have been found to be mentally deficient or committed to a mental institution;
- not be an undocumented immigrant;
- not have been discharged from the Armed Forces “under other than honorable conditions,” “bad conduct discharge,” or “dishonorable discharge;”
- not have a history of violent behavior; Note: this will be assumed if within the 10-year period before the application, the person has been arrested or charged 3 or more times for a “crime of violence,” or has been arrested or charged 2 or more times for any crime of violence that may be punished by death;
- not have had a permit denied in the last year; and
- not have had a permit revoked in the last four years before the application.4
If any of these situations apply to you, please talk to someone in your area about how these laws are being enforced.
If none of these situations apply, you can check with a local attorney or domestic violence organization to see if other laws would prevent the abuser from having a gun. You can also make a plan for your safety. See our Safety Tips page for more information. You may want to talk to them about whether leaving the area - either long term or for a little while - might help improve your safety. See our LA Places that Help page.
For additional information on gun laws in Louisiana, you can go to the Giffords Law Center website.
1 LA R.S. 14:95.8(A),(C)
2 LA R.S. 14:95.2(A),(C)
3 LA R.S. 40:1379.3(B)(2)
4 LA R.S. 40:1379.3(C)(3)–(5),(7)-(8),(12)–(16),(18),(19) & (J)(3)