Possession of a Firearm
In a recent ruling, the Louisiana State Supreme Court narrowly stated that a Louisiana law with regards to convicted felons possessing and/or carrying a weapon is reasonable and should therefore stand with respect to felons who are actively on probation or parole for an enumerated felony. The argument before the court has addressed the question of whether the felon in possession of the firearm had violated the recent amendment to the Louisiana Constitution that protected gun owners rights more than any other state in America.
The court’s opinion leaves open a larger question. What happens once a convicted felon is no longer on probation? It is safe to say that the law will most probably be challenged again. But for now the law stands.
In Louisiana, it is against the law for a person convicted of certain enumerated felonies to possess firearms.
95.1. Possession of firearm or carrying concealed weapon by a person convicted of certain felonies.
A. It is unlawful for any person who has been convicted of a crime of violence as defined in R.S. 14:2(B) which is a felony or simple burglary, burglary of a pharmacy, burglary of an inhabited dwelling, unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling, felony illegal use of weapons or dangerous instrumentalities, manufacture or possession of a delayed action incendiary device, manufacture or possession of a bomb, or possession of a firearm while in the possession of or during the sale or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, or any violation of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law which is a felony, or any crime which is defined as a sex offense in R.S. 15:541, or any crime defined as an attempt to commit one of the above-enumerated offenses under the laws of this state, or who has been convicted under the laws of any other state or of the United States or of any foreign government or country of a crime which, if committed in this state, would be one of the above-enumerated crimes, to possess a firearm or carry a concealed weapon.
B. Whoever is found guilty of violating the provisions of this Section shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than ten nor more than twenty years without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence and be fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars. Notwithstanding the provisions of R.S. 14:27, whoever is found guilty of attempting to violate the provisions of this Section shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not more than seven and one-half years and fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than two thousand five hundred dollars.
C. The provisions of this Section prohibiting the possession of firearms and carrying concealed weapons by persons who have been convicted of certain felonies shall not apply to any person who has not been convicted of any felony for a period of ten years from the date of completion of sentence, probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.
D. For the purposes of this Section, “firearm” means any pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, submachine gun, black powder weapon, or assault rifle which is designed to fire or is capable of firing fixed cartridge ammunition or from which a shot or projectile is discharged by an explosive.
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