Ammunition Regulation in Louisiana

In 2008, Louisiana enacted a law prohibiting any person from intentionally giving, selling, donating, providing, lending, delivering, or otherwise transferring ammunition to any person known by the offender to have been convicted of a felony and prohibited by Louisiana law from possessing a firearm.1

Louisiana law also prohibits the import, manufacture, sale, purchase, possession and transfer of armor-piercing bullets.2 Federal law also restricts armor-piercing bullets, although the definition of that term differs under federal and Louisiana law.3

However, Louisiana does not:

  • Require a license for the sale of ammunition;
  • Require sellers of ammunition to maintain a record of the purchasers; or

See our Ammunition Regulation policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. 2008 La. ALS 622 (codified at La. Rev. Stat. § 14:95.1.2). ⤴︎
  2. La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1811. ⤴︎
  3. See La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1810. ⤴︎

Background Checks in Louisiana

See our Background Checks policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires federally licensed firearms dealers (but not private sellers) to initiate a background check on the purchaser prior to sale of a firearm. Federal law provides states with the option of serving as a state “point of contact” and conducting their own background checks using state, as well as federal, records and databases, or having the checks performed by the FBI using only the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database. (Note that state files are not always included in the federal database.)

Louisiana is not a point of contact state for the NICS. Louisiana has no law requiring firearms dealers to initiate background checks prior to transferring a firearm. As a result, in Louisiana, firearms dealers must initiate the background check required by federal law by contacting the FBI directly.1

Louisiana law states that concealed handgun permit holders in Louisiana are exempt from federal background checks when purchasing a firearm provided that the appropriate waiver has been granted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.2 The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives has determined that Louisiana concealed handgun permits issued on or after March 9, 2015 qualify for this waiver.3 As a result, federal law still requires licensed dealers in Louisiana to conduct background checks prior to sale of a firearm if the purchaser has a concealed handgun permit issued before March 9, 2015.

Louisiana does not require private sellers (sellers who are not licensed dealers) to initiate a background check when transferring a firearm.

In 2018, Louisiana passed a law requiring licensed gun dealers to report NICS background check denials to local sheriffs in instances where a gun purchase was attempted by somebody reported ineligible to purchase firearms by the FBI.4

See our Private Sales policy summary for further information.

Notes
  1. Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Instant Criminal Background Check System Participation Map, at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/general-information/participation-map. ⤴︎
  2. La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1379.3(T).  Federal law exempts persons who have been issued state permits to purchase or possess firearms from background checks if those permits were issued: 1) within the previous five years in the state in which the transfer is to take place; and 2) after an authorized government official has conducted a background investigation, including a search of the NICS database, to verify that possession of a firearm would not be unlawful. 18 U.S.C. § 922(t)(3), 27 C.F.R. § 478.102(d). ⤴︎
  3. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, U.S. Dept. of Justice, Brady Law: Permanent Brady Permit Chart (Jun. 10, 2014), at https://www.atf.gov/rules-and-regulations/permanent-brady-permit-chart. ⤴︎
  4. 2018 La. SB 231 (signed by the Governor May 20, 2018), enacting La. Rev. Stat. §95.1.3(E). ⤴︎

Concealed Weapons Permitting in Louisiana

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.1 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.2

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.3 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.4

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.5

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.6 In 2018, Louisiana prohibited the carrying of concealed weapons by anyone found not guilty by reason of insanity for specified crimes of violence.7

Also in 2018, Louisiana enacted a law requiring courts to suspend the concealed carry permits of certain domestic violence offenders.8 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.9

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.”10

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.11  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.12

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.13  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.14  Temporary concealed handgun permits are valid for up to 45 days.15

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.16  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.17

Duration & Renewal

Louisiana passed a law in 2010 extending the duration of concealed handgun permits from four to five years.18

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.19

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.20

Reciprocity

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,21 and the permit was issued by a state that recognizes Louisiana concealed handgun permits.22

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.23

 

Notes
  1. La. Rev. Stat. §§ 40:1379.1(M), 40:1379.3(L). ⤴︎
  2. La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1382(A). ⤴︎
  3. La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1379.3(A)(1). ⤴︎
  4. La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1379.3(C). ⤴︎
  5. La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1379.3(C). ⤴︎
  6. La. Rev. Stat. § 14:95.10. ⤴︎
  7. 2018 La. SB 231 (signed by the Governor May 20, 2018), amending  R.S. § 14:95.1(A). ⤴︎
  8. 2018 La. SB 231 (signed by the Governor May 20, 2018), enacting La. Code. Crim. P. Title XXXV, Art. 1001(A), (B). ⤴︎
  9. 2018 La. SB 231 (signed by the Governor May 20, 2018), amending La. Rev. Stat. § 46:2136.3(A) and enacting § R.S. 14:79(A)(4). ⤴︎
  10. La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1379.3(K). ⤴︎
  11. La. Rev. Stat. §§ 40:1379.1(G), (H), 40:1379.1.1(A). Permits issued by the deputy secretary of the Department may be subject to certain “restrictive stipulations.” La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1379.1(H). Additional application and background check requirements, as well as permit suspension or disqualification information, are detailed under sections 40:1379.1, 40:1379.3, and 14:95.1. ⤴︎
  12. La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1379.1.1(B). ⤴︎
  13. 2016 La. H.B. 1155 (signed by the Governor on June 9, 2016), creating La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1379.3.2. ⤴︎
  14. Id. ⤴︎
  15. Id. ⤴︎
  16. La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1379.3(D). ⤴︎
  17. See 2016 La. H.B. 1155 (signed by the Governor on June 9, 2016), creating La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1379.3.2. ⤴︎
  18. La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1379.3(H)(2). ⤴︎
  19. La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1379.3(A)(2). ⤴︎
  20. La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1379.3(R)(2). ⤴︎
  21. See La. Rev. Stat. § 1379.3(B)(requiring a Louisiana resident to have a permit issued by Louisiana in order to carry a concealed handgun in Louisiana). ⤴︎
  22. La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1379.3(B), (T). ⤴︎
  23. See 2016 La. H.B. 1155 (signed by the Governor on June 9, 2016), creating La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1379.3.2. ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Louisiana

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Louisiana has no law requiring firearms dealers to obtain a state license,1 or generally regulating firearm dealers in any way.

Louisiana also has no law requiring dealers to conduct a background check on prospective firearm purchasers, although the federal background check requirement applies.  For laws applicable to both licensed and private firearm sellers, please see the Louisiana Private Sales section.

In 2018, Louisiana passed a law requiring licensed gun dealers to report background check denials to local sheriffs in instances where a gun purchase was attempted by somebody reported ineligible to purchase firearms by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System.2

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. However, dealers in short barreled shotguns and rifles, shotguns or rifles modified to have an overall length of less than 26 inches, concealable firearms with obliterated serial numbers, machine guns, or mufflers and silencers for firearms must register with the Department of Public Safety and Corrections (“Department”). La. Rev. Stat. §§ 40:1781, 40:1787. The dealer must provide his or her name and all places of business within the state. Each dealer of these firearms must identify the firearm with an identification mark approved by the Department, and keep records of the transactions in these specified firearms as required by the Department. La. Rev. Stat. §§ 40:1788, 40:1789. ⤴︎
  2. 2018 La. SB 231 (signed by the Governor May 20, 2018), enacting La. Rev. Stat. §95.1.3(E). ⤴︎

Design Safety Standards for Handguns in Louisiana

Louisiana does not specifically regulate junk guns or unsafe firearms. However, according to research conducted by the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence (now Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence), Louisiana’s Attorney General may have authority to regulate “junk guns,” as well as promulgate other firearm safety standards.1

See our Design Safety Standards for Handguns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. La. Rev. Stat. § 51:1405. For details, see Legal Action Project, Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, Targeting Safety (2001), at http://www.bradycenter.org/xshare/pdf/reports/targetingsafety.pdf. ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited Persons in Louisiana

In 2018, Louisiana adopted a law requiring courts to order some domestic violence offenders to surrender their firearms to local law enforcement. However, the law gives offenders the option to ask law enforcement to transfer their firearms to a third party chosen by the offender. The law requires courts to order surrender of firearms in two types of situations: (1) after the issuance of a domestic violence protective order that prohibits firearm possession; and (2) after specified types of domestic violence convictions, 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.1

Under Louisiana’s surrender law, when a person is convicted of a disqualifying domestic violence offense or becomes subject to a firearm-prohibiting protective order, the court must at the same time issue an order suspending that person’s concealed carry permit, directing the person to surrender their firearms, and requiring that the person provide information about the number and location of firearms in their possession (or a declaration stating they do not possess any).2 The court must then inform the person in open court that they are required to transfer all firearms in their possession to the sheriff within 48 hours.3

At the time of transfer, the sheriff and the person transferring their firearms are both required to complete a proof of transfer form, to be filed with the court.4 After firearms are transferred to the sheriff, the sheriff must give the transferor the option to allow a third party to receive and hold the transferred firearms, except that no firearm may be transferred to a third party living in the same residence as the transferor at the time of transfer. If the transferor does not elect to transfer firearms to a third party, the transferor has the option to store firearms with the sheriff or ask the sheriff to oversee the legal sale of the transferred firearms to a third party.5 The law also specifies a process for return of firearms when the person is no longer prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law.6

Except with respect to domestic violence offenders described above, Louisiana has no law requiring the removal of firearms from other people who have become prohibited from possessing them.7

 

Notes
  1. 2018 La. SB 231 (signed by the Governor May 20, 2018), enacting La. Code. Crim. P. Title XXXV, Art. 1001(A)(1), (2). ⤴︎
  2. Id. Art. 1001(B), (C). ⤴︎
  3. Id. Art. 1001(D). ⤴︎
  4. Id. ⤴︎
  5. Id. Art. 1002(A). ⤴︎
  6. Id. Art. 1002(D). ⤴︎
  7. Note that Louisiana law authorizes (but does not require) law enforcement to confiscate and dispose of any “criminal instrument,” which are instruments “specially designed, made, adapted for use, or actually used in the commission of an offense.” La. Rev. Stat. § 15:33. ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Louisiana

Firearm Prohibitions after Conviction for a Domestic Violence Crime

Louisiana prohibits people from possessing firearms for ten years after the completion of the person’s sentence, probation, and/or parole for committing a “domestic abuse battery,” as well as specified battery offenses against a dating partner.1 Note that federal law also prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by certain convicted domestic abusers.

In 2018, Louisiana strengthened its laws prohibiting firearm possession with respect to individuals convicted of certain domestic violence offenses. The 2018 law provides that when a person has been sentenced for a crime of violence2 or felony committed upon a family member, household member, or dating partner,3 the court must issue a Uniform Abuse Prevention Order that generally prohibits contact between the defendant and the victim. In addition, upon issuing such an order the court shall “presume[] that the defendant poses a credible threat to the physical safety of the person or persons protected by the order,” and “shall order that the defendant be prohibited from possessing a firearm for the duration of the Uniform Abuse Prevention Order.”4

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders

In 2018, Louisiana prohibited firearm possession by defendants subject to domestic violence protective orders for stalking, defined to mean “the intentional and repeated following or harassing of another person that would cause a reasonable person to feel alarmed or to suffer emotional distress.”5 Louisiana’s 2018 law requires courts to prohibit defendants from firearm possession if the court has issued a protective order against the defendant for stalking.6

Louisiana also prohibits firearm possession by people subject to other kinds of domestic violence protective order during the duration of the order if (1) the order includes a finding that the respondent represents a credible threat to the physical safety of a family member, household member, or dating partner,7 and (2) the order informs the respondent that he or she is prohibited from possessing a firearm pursuant to federal and state law.8

In Louisiana it is a violation of a protective order to purchase, attempt to purchase, possess firearms, or carry concealed weapons while subject to protective orders that prohibit firearm possession.9

Removal or Surrender of Firearms by Domestic Violence Offenders

Louisiana law does not explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

In 2018, Louisiana adopted a law requiring courts to order some domestic violence offenders to surrender their firearms to local law enforcement. However, the law gives offenders the option to ask law enforcement to transfer their firearms to a third party chosen by the offender. The law requires courts to order surrender of firearms in two types of situations: (1) after the issuance of a domestic violence protective order that prohibits firearm possession; and (2) after specified types of domestic violence convictions, 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.10 The law sets forth a process for surrendering firearms to law enforcement and options available for storage, including storage with a third party selected by the firearm possessor. For more details about the surrender process, see Disarming Prohibited Persons in Louisiana.

Domestic Violence Records Reporting

Louisiana requires that records of individuals who have been convicted of enumerated domestic abuse crimes be transmitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database. Specifically, Louisiana requires district clerks of court to send records for individuals who have been convicted of felony domestic abuse battery to the Louisiana Supreme Court for reporting to NICS.11 Since January 1, 2017, Louisiana courts have also been required to transmit records to NICS regarding individuals who are prohibited from possessing a firearm based on a conviction for misdemeanor domestic abuse battery, or who are prohibited or restricted from possessing or using a firearm by a court order.12

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. La. Rev. Stat. § 14:95.10. ⤴︎
  2. defined in La. Rev. Stat. § R.S. 14:2 ⤴︎
  3. defined in La. Rev. Stat. § 46:2132 ⤴︎
  4. 2018 La. SB 231 (signed by the Governor May 20, 2018), amending La. Rev. Stat. § 46:1846(A), (C), and (E) and enacting La. Rev. Stat. § 46:1846(F). ⤴︎
  5. La. Rev. Stat. § 14:40.2. ⤴︎
  6. 2018 La. HB 776 (signed by the Governor May 20, 2018), enacting La. Rev. Stat. § 14:40.2(F)(5). ⤴︎
  7. Louisiana expanded this domestic violence law to include individuals subject to a domestic violence protective order for abuse against a dating partner in 2017. See 2017 LA HB 223, Section 3. ⤴︎
  8. La. Rev. Stat. § 46:2136.3. ⤴︎
  9. 2018 La. SB 231 (signed by the Governor May 20, 2018), enacting La. Rev. Stat. § 14:79(A)(4). ⤴︎
  10. 2018 La. SB 231 (signed by the Governor May 20, 2018), enacting La. Code. Crim. P. Title XXXV, Art. 1001(A)(1), (2). ⤴︎
  11. La. Rev. Stat. § 13:753(A)(6). ⤴︎
  12. La. Rev. Stat. § 13:753(B). ⤴︎