Like many states in the South, Louisiana possesses a casual stance towards gun laws. When compared to other jurisdictions, a prospective firearm purchaser in Louisiana will encounter less regulation and restriction in regards to purchasing, and registering a gun.
A popular movement known as the Brady Campaign (a spin-off of the Brady bill which required background checks for all firearm sales), creates a scorecard for all 50 states based on their particular laws towards obtaining a gun license and gun permit. The higher the score, the stricter the policy and vice-versa. Out of a possible 100 points, Louisiana managed to score a 2.
When purchasing a firearm in a Louisiana gun shop, a buyer will encounter limited procedural barriers. Louisiana is commonly referred to as a "gun loving state." The only necessary requirement for purchase is a valid driver's license, which can prove the buyer meets the federal age limits: 21 for handguns and 18 for shotguns or rifles. There is no gun permit required to purchase a firearm in the state, nor is a gun license mandatory to detail ownership. Registration of long guns or handguns is also not required under Louisiana law.
There are no restrictions on long guns in the state; the only areas where an individual cannot carry a loaded shotgun or rifle are on college campuses, or properties that specifically designate the barring of weapons. Areas such as schools, hospitals, municipalities, and places of worship often disallow carrying privileges. It is also permissible to transport loaded long guns in an automobile without a gun license.
The most complex variation in Louisiana gun law revolves around a gun permit to conceal a loaded handgun. To qualify for a concealed gun permit an individual must be at least 21 years of age, a resident of Louisiana for at least 6 months, pass a basic weapons training course, take safety classes, and possess no background of felony convictions, alcohol or drug abuse, and mental illness. Once approved the permit takes 10 days to issue and is valid throughout the state for 4 years.
Similar to purchasers of firearms, gun dealers in Louisiana face limited restriction. Louisiana requires no state license for gun dealers, nor requires records to be kept which would document information about the buyer and the weapon sold. Police inspections, or security precautions are also not placed on owners of retail gun shops in the state.
There is no limit or restrictions on bulk purchases-most states institute a one handgun per month policy. Louisiana also does not require a background check on any sort of firearm purchase. Louisiana gun law also places no restrictions on ammunition, assault weapons testing, childproofing of weapons, or guns at the workplace.
Although Louisiana has adopted a lenient stance in regards to the obtainment of a gun license or gun permit, there are still miscellaneous laws imposed to prevent the sale and transfer of illegal guns. It is illegal to tamper with, or remove any numbers on a firearm, which aid in the identification process.
If serial numbers are altered, the gun becomes "hot", and selling, transferring, or purchasing such a weapon is considered illegal under Louisiana gun law. It is also illegal to operate any form of firearm while under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Louisiana. These laws are enforced to the fullest extent, and are crucial in limiting the amount of illegal murders via firearm in the state.
Based on a ratio of population over amount of violent crimes, Louisiana currently ranks as the fourth most dangerous state in the country. With one violent crime per every 137 citizens, Louisiana is only behind Nevada, South Carolina, and Tennessee in this useful statistic. Granted, there are many cultural and economic factors that go into these numbers; however, one can assume that the absence of regulations in the gun license or gun permit process only augment the state's high violent crime statistics.