Feb 25, 2013 7:09 PM by Chris Welty

Speculation Driving Gun & Ammo Sales

Louisiana lawmakers have pre-filed a handful of firearms bills.

One of those bills proposes that if federal laws pass, banning or restricting semi-automatic firearms, those laws would not be enforceable in Louisiana. That's if federal law tries to ban or restrict anyone from owning a semi-automatic firearm, magazine, accessory or ammunition. The bill also proposes that federal laws requiring registration would not be enforceable in the state.

Many gun store customers are trying to stock up on ammunition.

"It comes and goes quick. You've got to be there when the truck gets here," said gun customer Ben Winter.

He and his friend Derek Louviere can't find the ammunition they want. They're avid hunters and are concerned about potential restrictions on firearms.

"People are worried the administration is going to ban these things, ban assault weapons, ban multi-capacity rounds," said Winter.

That speculation is driving sales at gun stores like Lafayette Shooters. General Manager Blake Boudreaux says the rush is even greater than it was in 2008 after President Obama was first elected. Some people feared then and now President Obama will tighten regulations.

"We've been known to have the merchandise it's just in short supply right now. Getting everything back will be a real burden. it's slim pickings right now," said Boudreaux.

For stores it's bitter-sweet because they're selling merchandise but they can't re-stock their shelves as quickly as they'd like.

"Distributors get cleaned out immediately and it takes a while for these manufacturers to re-supply us," said Boudreaux.

Employees say it'll take time for supplies to get back to normal.

Here's a breakdown of the proposed gun bills here in Louisiana:

Louisiana lawmakers have pre-filed a handful of bills regarding firearms. Representative Jim Morris, R-Morehouse, is proposing that federal laws banning or restricting semi-automatic firearms would not be enforceable in Louisiana. HB 5 says any federal action would be unenforceable if federal law tries to ban or restrict anyone from owning a semi-automatic firearm, magazine, accessory, or ammunition. The bill also proposes that federal law requiring registration would be unenforceable in the state.

HB 4, proposed by Representative Barbara Norton, D-Caddo, makes it a crime to improperly store a firearm. The proposed bill to make it against the law to keep or store a firearm unless it is in a locked container or is equipped with a lock to render it inoperable. The exception is if the firearm is on the person or is being used.

The longest proposed bill regarding firearms is HB 21 filed by Representative Henry Burns, R-Bossier. It requires certain information about a person's mental health to be sent to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections and the FBI. The proposed law requires the clerk of court to submit information to DPS&C within 30 days of a court order. The clerk must submit that information if a person is ordered by a court to be judicially committed, receive involuntary outpatient treatment, or receive mental health treatment or services, if someone doesn't have the mental capacity to stand a criminal trial, if the person is acquitted in a criminal case by reason of insanity, and among other things if someone has been denied a concealed handgun permit because of mental capacity. ''

HB 6, filed by Representative John M. Schroder, R-Tammany, allows off-duty law enforcement officers to carry weapons on school property. Representative Jeff Thompson, R-Bossier, filed HB 8, which prohibits releasing information about concealed handgun permits.

Chris Welty



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