The Louisiana State Supreme Court Addresses the Issue of Felons with firearms.
In a Nola.com article, Paul Purpura asked the question: Did the Louisiana Supreme Court get it right when it closed the door on the issue of felons with firearms. On Tuesday, the question of whether people convicted of felonies should be allowed to have guns or not was answered by the justices. The Court concluded that Louisiana’s law barring felons from possessing firearms does not run afoul of the 2002 constitutional amendment making gun ownership “a fundamental right.” “Common sense and the public safety allow no other result,” Associate Justice Jefferson Hughes III wrote in the 17-page opinion for the court. While the law is designed to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, it also means people who’ve been convicted of felonies may not hunt with guns. Convicted felons are barred from firearms during the 10-year period that begins when they complete their punishment for the underlying felony. Conviction under the law, Revised Statute 14:95.1, carries a punishment of 10 years to 20 years in prison. Gov. Bobby Jindal and the National Rifle Association backed the constitutional amendment that gave Louisiana one of the stronger gun-rights laws in the United States. Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, a former judge, opposed the amendment, warning that its passage would open the gates to a flood of challenges raised by people charged under the felon-with-a-firearm statute. He was right for a time, in that state judges tossed out numerous cases on constitutional grounds. At least two such rulings originated from Jefferson Parish’s 24th Judicial District Court. But the Supreme Court has now issued three opinions on the question. In each, they’ve upheld state laws regulating gun possession.