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Local lawmakers aim to expand gun rights in upcoming session - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Local lawmakers aim to expand gun rights in upcoming session

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HAUGHTON, La. -

It will surprise few residents in conservative, pro-gun Louisiana that the majority of pre-filed bills regarding firearms seek to expand second amendment rights in the upcoming legislative session.

Rep. Henry Burns (R-Haughton) says House Bill 10 would let officers carry guns into restaurants that sell and serve alcohol. Current wording only allows this when officers are on-duty.

"The only thing that I'm changing is not how law enforcement officers conduct themselves," Burns said. "It's changing some words on a piece of paper that makes them a law breaker."

Burns' similar bill passed the House last year but failed to go anywhere in the Senate. Burns says he has more backing this time around.

The Bossier Police Jury unanimously passed a resolution supporting HB 10 in their meeting Wednesday afternoon.

"Since then, I've had letters from the Fraternal Order of Police and other organizations that said, 'Hey, we'll come to the table with you this time,'" Burns said of the support.

"We've got a good bit coming up this session," Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Bossier City) said. "We've got some things dealing with some conceal carry permits and protecting second amendments, as we always do."

Thompson, the founder of pro-gun group Defend Louisiana, sponsored House Bill 20 to let anyone with a concealed carry permit bring a weapon to restaurants with alcohol.

House Bill 72 and Senate Bill 68 follow suit and would allow off-duty police and concealed carry permit holders to bring guns into alcoholic establishments.

SB 361 would police take guns anywhere.

HB 707 would let teachers and school administrators with concealed carry permits take guns to school.

Few bills would restrict gun ownership, but HB 753 from New Orleans democrat Rep. Helena Moreno would allow police to seize firearms in some domestic abuse situations and ban anyone with misdemeanor domestic abuse convictions from owning a gun.

Rep. Alfred Williams (D-New Orleans) sponsored HB 727 to allow parishes and municipalities to hold gun buybacks. Current law only allows such programs inside New Orleans city limits.

The 2014 Louisiana Legislative session starts Monday, March 10 and runs through June 2.

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