See our Carrying Concealed Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
Louisiana does not prohibit a person from carrying a concealed handgun in public if the person has a permit. However, Louisiana prohibits the “negligent carrying of a concealed handgun,” which applies regardless of whether a person is licensed under state law, and includes carrying a concealed handgun, intentionally or with criminal negligence, when it is foreseeable that the handgun may discharge.
Louisiana is a “shall issue” state, meaning that Department of Public Safety and Corrections must issue a concealed handgun permit if the applicant meets certain qualifications. Applicants must:
- Be a Louisiana resident (a 2011 law removed the requirement that the applicant have been a Louisiana resident for at least six months);
- Be 21 years of age or older; and
- Be eligible to possess a firearm under federal law.
In addition, applicants must not:
- Suffer from “mental or physical infirmity due to disease, illness, or retardation” which prevents the safe handling of a handgun;
- Be ineligible to possess a firearm due to a felony conviction, other than certain non-violent felony convictions more than ten years old that have been expunged, and convictions for which a full pardon was granted;
- Have been institutionally committed, either voluntarily or involuntarily, for the abuse of a controlled dangerous substance, or been found guilty of, or entered a plea of guilty or no contest to a misdemeanor relating to a controlled dangerous substance within the last five years, or be presently charged with such an offense;
- Chronically and habitually use alcoholic beverages to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired, which shall be presumed if the applicant has been found guilty of, or entered a plea of guilty or no contest to, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, or has been admitted, either voluntarily or involuntarily, for treatment as an alcoholic within the last five years;
- Have entered a plea of guilty or no contest to, or been found guilty of, a violent crime at the misdemeanor level, unless five years have elapsed since completing the sentence or any other conditions set by the court have been fulfilled, or the conviction was set aside and the prosecution dismissed prior to the date on which the application is submitted;
- Have been convicted of, have entered a plea of guilty or no contest to, or be charged with any crime of violence or any crime punishable by imprisonment for a term of one year or more;
- Be a fugitive from justice;
- Be an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana, depressants, stimulants, or narcotic drugs;
- Have been adjudicated to be mentally deficient or been committed to a mental institution (unless the applicant’s right to possess a firearm has been legally restored);
- Be an illegal alien in the United States;
- Have been discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States with a discharge characterized as “Under Other than Honorable Conditions,” a “Bad Conduct Discharge” or a “Dishonorable Discharge;”
- Have a history of engaging in violent behavior. There is a rebuttable presumption that an applicant has a history of engaging in violent behavior upon proof that, within the last 10 years, the applicant has, on three or more occasions, been arrested for or charged with any “crime of violence”, or has on two or more occasions been arrested for or charged with any crime of violence punishable by death;
- Have had a permit denied within one year prior to the most recent application; or
- Have had a permit revoked within four years prior to the most recent application.
In 2014, Louisiana enacted a law prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons by anyone convicted of “domestic abuse battery” if the person completed the sentence, probation, or parole within the last ten years. In 2018, Louisiana prohibited the carrying of concealed weapons by anyone found not guilty by reason of insanity for specified crimes of violence.
Also in 2018, Louisiana enacted a law requiring courts to suspend the concealed carry permits of certain domestic violence offenders. Courts must issue an order suspending the concealed carry permit of: (1) anyone against whom a domestic violence protective order that prohibits firearm possession has been issued; and (2) anyone who has been convicted of specified domestic violence offenses, including domestic abuse battery, specified offenses of battery of a dating partner, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a person convicted of domestic abuse battery or certain offenses of battery of a dating partner. The same law made it unlawful (and a violation of a protective order) to carry concealed weapons while subject to a protective order that prohibits firearm possession.
Prior to issuing a concealed handgun permit, the Department must conduct “a thorough background investigation, including a criminal history check, of every applicant, [including] a computer check of available on-line state records, and, if warranted, the fingerprints may be forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history record check.”
A concealed handgun permit may also be issued by the chief law enforcement officer of a parish (valid only within the parish), by the deputy secretary of the Department (if the applicant already has a permit issued by the chief law enforcement officer of the parish in which the applicant is officially domiciled, and is bonded in the amount of $5,000), or by the sheriff of a parish. Louisiana enacted a law in 2013 authorizing a parish’s sheriff to enter into a reciprocity agreement with the sheriff of a contiguous parish to authorize both sheriffs to issue concealed handgun permits to qualified persons. Those permits are valid within the boundaries of the participating contiguous parishes.
A temporary concealed handgun permit may be issued by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections to a qualifying applicant who has obtained a domestic abuse protective order against a family member, household member, or intimate partner. Applicants for a temporary concealed handgun permit must comply with and meet all of the qualifications set forth in Louisiana’s concealed handgun permit law, except that they do not need to comply with the safety training requirement. Temporary concealed handgun permits are valid for up to 45 days.
Firearm Safety Training
The applicant must also demonstrate competence with a handgun, usually by completing a specified or approved course or class within the previous year. However, Louisiana waives its firearm safety training requirement for individuals who have obtained a domestic abuse protective order against a family member, household member, or intimate partner, allowing such individuals to apply for a temporary concealed handgun permit valid for up to 45 days without completing a safety training course.
Duration & Renewal
Louisiana passed a law in 2010 extending the duration of concealed handgun permits from four to five years.
Disclosure or Use of Information
Louisiana does not allow personal application or permit information of concealed handgun permit holders to be made public. Such information is confidential and not subject to a public records request. However, the Department may provide statistical information which does not identify individual applicants or permittees.
The Department must submit a report by March 31st of each year to the Legislature relative to concealed handgun permits. The report must include information – categorized by age, sex, race, and zip code of the applicant or licensee – on the number of licenses issued, denied, revoked, or suspended and the reasons for such denial, revocation, or suspension. The report must also include data concerning any known accidents or deaths involving permittees.
Louisiana law provides that a valid concealed handgun permit issued in another state is valid in Louisiana if the person is not a Louisiana resident, and the permit was issued by a state that recognizes Louisiana concealed handgun permits.
Louisiana law specifies that temporary concealed handgun permits issued to individuals who have obtained a domestic abuse protective order against a family member, household member, or intimate partner are not valid outside of Louisiana, even pursuant to other states’ reciprocity agreements.