Amid the many “pro-gun” bills Louisiana lawmakers considered this year, one stands out for both its bipartisan support and its common-sense approach to the pressing issue of firearm safety.
House Bill 247 by state Rep. Mandie Landry, D-New Orleans, gives taxpayers an income tax credit of up to $500 a year for purchasing qualified firearm safety devices, starting this year. Such devices include gun safes, gun cases, lock boxes, safes and other locking devices designed to store firearms securely.
Actually, “bipartisan” understates the support Landry’s bill generated. It passed both the House and Senate unanimously. The measure sunsets at the end of 2027, but if it proves popular, lawmakers should extend it.
We applaud Landry, an indefatigable liberal, for finding a way to rally her conservative colleagues behind a sensible gun safety measure. And we trust that Gov. John Bel Edwards, an outdoorsman and advocate of firearm safety, will sign the bill into law.
“I’ve been working on this bill a long time,” Landry said. “Guns are the number-one killer of children nationwide and in Louisiana. If people are going to have guns, we should do all we can to encourage them to lock them up.”
Virginia passed a similar law last year with the full support of the NRA. Inexplicably, the NRA did not get behind Landry’s measure, opting instead to remain neutral. Are Virginia residents more deserving of gun safety measures than Louisianans? Or is the NRA more interested in promoting permitless-carry laws like the one that thankfully failed this session than in protecting children? Shame on the organization for declining to support an issue that even the Legislature's most ardent gun advocates embraced.
“We need to promote more ways to get people knowing how to use and store guns safely,” Landry said, “because no one wants to be the parent whose child gets ahold of an unlocked gun.”
At least we can all agree on that.