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Louisiana Gun Laws: How Do State Laws Apply in Tourist Areas?

Image: Louisiana Gun Laws: How Do State Laws Apply in Tourist Areas?
Tourists watching street performers at Jackson Square in French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana . (Aviahuismanphotography/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 03 Apr 2015 02:10 PM

Louisiana has beaches, endangered animal reserves, and swamp tours, which is everything a tourist could hope for in a vacation. But before you decide to go to the state with your gun, check out Louisiana’s gun laws. Otherwise, your vacation could turn into probation.

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The state passed “castle law,” commonly known as “Stand Your Ground,” which restricts municipalities from interfering with the state and federal constitutional rights to protection.

Castle law allows residents, not visitors, to protect their homes, families, properties, and immediate surroundings from imminent danger. It also lets them use deadly force if necessary.

While castle law may not apply to visitors, those going to Louisiana do have other rights under the state’s provisions. Here are few examples of Louisiana’s gun laws.

Can visitors carry in Louisiana?

While many residents and visitors open carry firearms in Louisiana, it is strictly regulated according to state and federal law and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) administrative regulations. Louisiana, like most Southern states, regulates gun ownership and concealed carry permits. And for the most part, tourists need only have an approved permit from home.

Can tourists carry anywhere?

The short answer is no. Louisiana restricts residents and visitors from open and concealed carry in various areas such as schools, government buildings, and any establishment that sells alcohol.

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Who can carry?

Louisiana law allows anyone ages 17 and older to purchase and carry firearms. However, federal law prohibits minors under the age of 18 from carrying and purchasing these weapons. Since federal law takes precedence over state law, visitors must be 18 years of age or older to carry firearms in Louisiana.

Do I need a permit to open carry?

Louisiana does not require residents or visitors to obtain permits to open carry, nor does the state require permits to purchase weapons from ATF-approved vendors.

Who can carry a concealed firearm?

Louisiana’s concealed carry laws are a bit confusing for out-of-town guests. Legislators passed a law in 2004 regulating tourist permits. It states, "A current and valid concealed handgun permit issued by another state shall be deemed to be valid within this state if a current and valid concealed handgun permit issued by Louisiana is valid in those states."

Some states do not recognize Louisiana’s concealed carry permits and have passed laws banning visitors from using their permits in those states. Louisiana also does not recognize permits from these states.

States that do not recognize Louisiana permits are Oregon, California, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Illinois.

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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Louisiana has beaches, endangered animal reserves, and swamp tours, which is everything a tourist could hope for in a vacation. But before you decide to go to the state with your gun, check out Louisiana’s gun laws. Otherwise, your vacation could turn into probation.
louisiana, gun laws, gun control, tourism
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2015-10-03
Friday, 03 Apr 2015 02:10 PM
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