Louisiana Gun Laws
In Louisiana, you may purchase and openly carry firearms without a permit, as long as you are over the age of 17 and not prohibited by state or federal law to possess a gun. However, you must obtain a concealed handgun permit to carry a concealed gun on (or near) your body. Until August 1, 2013, all Louisiana gun owners were required to register their guns with the state, but the registration law has since been repealed, and Louisiana law now allows people who qualify for concealed weapons licenses to obtain lifetime concealed handgun permits at a cost of $500 if they so desire. (La. Rev. Stat. §§ 40:1379.1, 40:1379.3.) Permits that must be renewed every five years are still available. For more information on Louisiana’s gun regulations, see Open and Concealed Gun Carrying Laws in Louisiana and Weapons Charges in Louisiana.
How to Obtain a Concealed Handgun Permit in Louisiana
To obtain a concealed handgun permit, you must apply at the police or sheriff’s office in the parish where you reside. To qualify, you must:
be at least 21 years old
be a Louisiana resident
be otherwise eligible to possess or receive a firearm under federal law, and
demonstrate competence with a handgun.
Additionally, the following people are NOT permitted to obtain a concealed carry permit:
those who suffer from a physical or mental infirmary which prevents the safe handling of a firearm
unlawful users of controlled substances, or people who have been committed to a drug abuse treatment facility, or have been convicted of specified crimes involving controlled substances within the last five years
chronic and habitual users of alcohol whose normal faculties are impaired (this is presumed where people have been found guilty of certain crimes involving alcohol use, such as drunk driving)
people convicted of certain violent crimes or who have a history of engaging in violent behavior
fugitives from justice
people adjudicated as mentally deficient or committed to mental institutions
people dishonorably discharged from the military
people ineligible to possess a firearm under federal law, and
those who have had concealed carry permit applications denied or revoked.
(La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1379.3.)
Does Louisiana Recognize Concealed Handgun Permits From Other States?
Yes, but only for non-residents. Louisiana recognizes valid concealed handgun permits from other states that recognize Louisiana permits. If you have a license from a reciprocal state, and you are not a Louisiana resident, your license is valid in Louisiana. If you are a Louisiana resident (or become one), you must apply for a Louisiana permit. (La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1379.3.) A current list of reciprocal states is available at the Louisiana State Police website.
In Louisiana, it is a crime for a person to publish or disseminate any information contained in an application for a concealed carry permit, or otherwise identify a person who has a concealed carry permit. There is an exception for law enforcement officers and employees of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections when a person with a concealed handgun permit is charged with a felony that involves the use of a handgun. (La. Rev. Stat. § 40:1379.3.)
Penalties for Failing to Obtain a Concealed Handgun License
Penalties for carrying a concealed firearm without a permit in Louisiana include a fine of up to $500, up to six months in jail, or both. A second conviction can incur up to five years in prison, and a third or subsequent offense incurs up to ten years in prison. Publishing the identity of a person with a concealed carry permit, or the person’s application information is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of $5,000 if the defendant is a law enforcement officer or Department of Public Safety and Corrections employee, and $10,000 if the defendant is not. (La. Stat. Ann. § 14:95.) For more information on sentencing in Louisiana, see Louisiana Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences and Louisiana Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences.
Getting Legal Help
If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to carry a gun in Louisiana, or if you are facing charges for a gun permit violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer. An attorney can explain the legal process to you and help you protect your rights.