What is HB131? Nothing much. Just some random bill that would allow 18-year-olds to conceal and carry without training or a permit. We’re talking about carrying a gun or guns, of course. Presently, the bill is sitting in the Criminal Justice Committee waiting to die or be put before the Full House.
Yep. That’s right. After a month that’s seen two mass shootings by maladjusted 20 something year-olds, our Reps. are about to consider covertly arming 18-year-olds. Brilliant. Welcome to the start of this year’s legislative session.
New Gun Laws From the Legislature
To fully answer the question, HB131 is mostly a bill of omission as opposed to addition. It starts with the qualifications. Being 21 years of age as a necessary and sufficient condition to concealed carry? Omitted. From there, the bill goes on to omit an entire paragraph from present law. That would be the paragraph stipulating the necessity of a permit at all. So, if passed, present law would allow a kid fresh out of high school to hit the streets packing.
I remember when I was 18, all young, dumb, and full of ill-temper and testosterone. I remember having friends who were 18, too. They were just like me. I doubt we were anomalies. After raising two kids who were once 18 and knowing their friends, I’m pretty much sure of it.
If I only knew then what I know now. That famous saying.
I think if I did know then what I know now, I’d conclude that I shouldn’t be allowed to freely walk the streets with a gun in my pocket or waistband. It wouldn’t have been a good idea for my friends to do so either. Did I mention that HB131 is a dumb bill?
One may ask: why is this necessary? It’s not a question of rights. The 2nd Amendment, much to the denial of Conservatives, has always been a highly regulated right. If you don’t think so, go try to freely purchase something fully automatic or a rocket launcher. You’ll be met with state restrictions whether you’re part of a militia or not.
Rep. Danny McKormick is the author of the bill. He’s on record asking the question of “why don’t we trust law-abiding citizens with their Second Amendment Rights?” The answer is we do. But rights aren’t absolute. They’re conditional. We grant rights based on levels of maturity, arbitrary as they may be. A 13-year-old, for example, isn’t allowed to get married, vote, or own a gun. We’ll see what arguments Rep. McKormick puts forth when HB131 has its hearing.
It’s a conflicting time for 18-year-olds, though. On one hand, we have Rep. McKormick, a man who really believes in them, in their cognitive capacity at least. But on the other hand, we have Sen. Beth Mizell who feels they aren’t even mature enough to be allowed in a bar. Sen. Mizell has filed a bill, SB194, that would make it illegal for anyone under 21 to enter a bar.
New Gun Laws From Legislature?
So, in one session, we may have an instance where legislators cast their votes saying being around a beer or two is too intoxicating for 18-year-olds to handle, but walking up the street with a gun tucked in their waist isn’t. Strange times in Louisiana. Strange indeed. As I said, welcome to this year’s legislative session.