Lawmakers in the Legislature have begun pre-filing bills aimed at heading off possible gun restrictions that, although unlikely with a Republican-controlled U.S. House, might come down from Washington.
Rep. Jim Morris, R-Oil City, filed House Bill 5, which would somehow make any “federal laws, rules, regulations, or executive orders banning or restricting semi-automatic firearms” unenforceable in Louisiana. The bill also would prevent the state from enforcing a federal requirement that semi-automatic weapons and accessories by registered “in any manner.” Just enjoy your damn guns! HB 5 prescribes up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine for any state official with the temerity to acknowledge such federal mandates, because although Louisiana sucks with insatiable vigor at Uncle Sam’s hammy teat, we don’t savor the milk.
Reps. Jeff Thompson, R-Bossier City, and House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, R-Lake Charles, have filed HB 8 prohibiting “the release of information contained in concealed handgun permit applications and the release of information regarding the identity of any person who applied for or received such a permit.” The bill is likely in reaction to a newspaper in White Plains, NY, publishing the names and even mapping out the addresses of more than 33,000 local handgun permit holders following the Newtown, Conn., school massacre. The interactive article generated more than one million views on the paper’s website and prompted a backlash against the newspaper by Second Amendment fetishists.
Two other bills pre-filed ahead of the two-month session that begins April 8 deal with the storage of firearms and permitting off-duty law enforcement officials to carry guns on school campuses.
See all the bills pre-filed in both the House and the Senate here.
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DEC 6 Here we are, at the top of another bad list: this time, Louisiana has the (dubious) honor of beating out all other states when it comes to gutting higher ed funding, this Picayune story reports. The American Association of Colleges and Universities says our cuts (nearly 18 percent this year alone) are the highest in the nation. Three-fourths of the states increased funding last year, with the top spender increasing funding by 28 percent. This is a great legacy for our governor, right?
DEC 6 Blogger Lamar White Jr. takes a look at the creepy effort over in Baton Rouge, wherein the southern, lily-white area of the city wants to secede from the union, er, create its own "city" and take all the really fat sales tax cows with it. Turns out the group campaigning for the move is a for-profit corporation, and Lamar says that means its effort won't pass legal muster.
DEC 6 Blogger Tom Aswell tells us about some fishiness he found in the state worker's comp office. There's some confusion about when one guy started working there, and there's also some involvement by a GOP lege from Hammond. It's all just another example of the Jindal administration's actions that "defy explanation," Aswell says.
DEC 6 Edwin Edwards may think it's possible he will be governor again, but columnist James Gill isn't so sure. Edwards would have to get a presidential pardon to run for governor -- unless he wants to wait until he's 99, Gill says. But even Edwards' many supporters should probably hope he doesn't get that, because there's no real chance he can win, Gill says.
DEC 6 Here's an interesting post on DIG Magazine for football history buffs. It's about the Pelican Bowl, the Bayou Classic and the history of black college football. It's a trip down memory lane and the story of a "mythical black college national crown." What killed it? Trying to compete with the Bayou Classic.
DEC 6 Nelson Mandela became famous while sitting in prison, where he was a symbol of apartheid. But his enduring legacy was his ability to forgive, to reach out a hand of peace to heal his country of division and oppression, and the Picayune talks about this aspect of his personality. The story also reminds us of the more light-hearted moments Louisiana shared with the former President of South Africa.
DEC 6 We've all been passed by a nut on the highway and assumed the driver was on drugs. Maybe that's not hyperbole: here's a story from the Picayune about a guy riding around with a meth lab in his back seat. One wonders if his insurance policy included coverage for random explosions.
DEC 6 Here's a new blog in the NOLA Defender; it's called Shift Change, and it's all about cocktails. This installment by Rhiannon Enlil focuses on the sazerac, the enigmatic cocktail made with absinthe. But Enlil also introduces herself, a long-time NOLA bartender who has "a lot of booze" in her house.
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