YOUNGSVILLE, LA (KADN)- Governor John Bel Edwards vetoed a bill that would have allowed Louisianians 21 and over to conceal carry a firearm without a permit. Under current law, permits are required for concealed carry.
Brandon Elias, the owner of Sentry Defense in Youngsville, said although he teaches firearm safety classes so that people can get a permit, he doesn’t agree with the Governor's decision.
“I think that everyone should own a gun to help protect themselves and concealing it is a huge benefit for the surprise factor in self-defense,” Elias said.
Open carry without a permit is currently legal in the state. Elias feels concealed carry should also be allowed.
“When a criminal walks in there sees someone with an open carry gun, they might just shoot them first, right, whereas you for your concealed, then it, they don't know that you have firearms as a surprise factor, right, that's going to help you, to defend your life right and protect your life,” he said.
The instructor teaches about 50 people each month on concealed carry and firearm safety. He believes that law-abiding citizens would still seek training even if concealed carry was legal.
“We truly believe in the second amendment and we don't think that the government should restrict those rights, even if it means less business for us,” he said.
According to Elias, concealed carry is the best option when anyone is in danger. Therefore, it should be legal to carry without a permit.
“When a criminal walks in, wants to harm other people with a firearm, they might not be looking at you because they can't see the firearm, right. Whenever you get the opportunity to draw your firearm, then you can protect yourself and other loved ones or other innocent people around you.”
If lawmakers decide to return to the state Capitol for a veto-override session of Senate bill 118, it would take place in July.
The Louisiana Association Chiefs of Police supported Gov. Edwards’s decision to veto the bill.