Louisiana court rules state constitution doesn’t protect gun rights of felons

A Louisiana law barring convicted felons of possessing firearms doesn’t conflict with the state’s constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms, Louisiana’s Supreme Court decided this week.

The law prohibits those convicted of various crimes including burglary, drug violations, as well as sex offenders, from possessing firearms or carrying concealed weapons.  A violation can result in 10 to 20 years of hard labor.

Three convicted felons, including one accused of second-degree murder, filed motions to dismiss charges of firearm possession, arguing that despite the law, it was their constitutional right. Louisiana voters approved an amendment to the state constitution in 2012 that stated the right to bear arms was “fundamental and shall not be infringed.” The amendment passed with 73 percent of the vote, according to the ruling.

The Louisiana Supreme Court ruled against the felons  Tuesday, stating that those convicted can have a “dangerous disregard for the law” and are “at risk to reoffend,” the opinion read.

Hunter Schwarz covers state and local politics and policy across the country for the Washington Post.
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