Louisiana SB 231, a bill providing for the surrender of firearms in the event that someone violates a protective order, passed the Louisiana Senate Judiciary committee unanimously and could be taken up by the entire Senate as early as today. Among those in support of the legislation are the editorial board of the New Orleans Times Picayune, who write forcefully in an editorial titled "Abusers Shouldn't Have Guns:"
It ought to pass easily. Why wouldn't senators want to ensure that an existing state law is actually enforced?
Simone Veal and Officer Louviere aren't the only Louisianians who have been killed by an abusive spouse with a gun he shouldn't have had.
There was a restraining order in place in November when Krystle Landor, a 28-year-old mother of three, was shot to death near Lacombe by her ex-boyfriend. Her family said the criminal justice system failed her. "A convicted felon with a gun, and a mental patient; four days he's back out on the streets. A couple weeks he comes back out and killed my daughter," Ms. Landor's father told WWL-TV.
The bill, by Democratic Sen. JP Morrell, would help law enforcement and gun dealers to enforce current Louisiana law against the possession, carrying, or purchasing of firearms by those subject to protective orders. These laws, while currently on the books, are not being enforced properly, as evidenced by the fact that Louisiana is third in the nation when it comes to domestic homicides.
Naturally, the NRA considers SB 231 an "egregious anti-gun law" and is whipping opposition to the legislation, and other groups have called it a "gun grabbing" exercise waged by Louisiana's Black Caucus (of which Sen. Morrell is a member.)
LEAP Forward is grading action on the bill and is urging support.