Does New La. Amendment Trump Felon Gun Law?

Mar 11, 2013

Defense attorneys argue that Louisiana's new constitutional protection for gun ownership applies to felons, too.

State law makes it illegal for felons to own firearms.

But new constitutional amendment gives Louisiana residents a fundamental right to bear arms. And any law infringing on such a right must get the highest level of judicial scrutiny.

The Times-Picayune reports that New Orleans public defenders argue this means prosecutors must provide compelling data showing people accused of such crimes are a greater threat to society when armed.

They agree that public safety is a compelling interest to bar guns from violent offenders like murderers or armed robbers. But public defender Jill Pasquarella says that's not the case for people convicted of crimes without any connection to firearm use or possession.