For state Rep. Terry Landry, voting for Amendment 2 is like opening Pandora’s Box.
Landry represents District 96 - created after the last U.S. census - which covers portions of Lafayette, St. Martinville and New Iberia. He’s also a retired State Trooper, and he's a gun owner. But for Landry, Amendment 2 is setting the stage for what he believes could be the eventual elimination of all gun ownership restrictions. Landry, in a prepared statement, says:
I believe Amendment 2 would take Louisiana in the wrong direction on a matter that has direct impact on public safety. I speak as a gun owner and a strong supporter of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution that protects our rights of gun ownership. I also speak as a 30-year veteran of the Louisiana State Police, as well as a former director of security at Louis Armstrong Airport and at Southern University.
Landry says that during this year’s Legislative Session, the Amendment’s chief backer “said he wanted no limits that he wanted [guns] everywhere.” Landry's response:
That comment makes me shudder every time I think of it.
Under this amendment, the Legislature could loosen restrictions on concealed carry laws but it would be hard pressed to tighten them. What would be the proponents’ next step, if this amendment passes? To allow fans to bring guns into, say, Tiger Stadium after an afternoon of tailgating?
We have ample evidence that the current balance in the law has tipped in favor of those who want unrestricted access to guns and ammunition. We are reminded of this every few months by some horrific story of mass shootings from around the country. These shootings are carried out by people with mental problems, grudges against society, or because for a few minutes it gives them a feeling of power. Our current laws afford these people access to guns.
On the other side of the argument is one of the North Louisiana lawmakers who helped author the bill responsible for Amendment 2: District 14 Rep. John Morris.
In an interview with MyArkLaMiss.com, Morris argues “We want to affirm that the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right in Louisiana, so if anybody tries to impinge on that right, those laws would be declared unconstitutional under our state law as well as federal law.”
Go here for Rep. Landry’s full stance against Amendment 2.
Read more of Rep. Morris’ argument favoring Amendment 2 here.