A new statewide gun rights advocacy group gathered about 3,000 signatures in support of its legislation to protect the Second Amendment this weekend. State Representative Jeff Thompson, founder of Defend Louisiana, outlined the group’s initiatives at the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday afternoon.
Defend Louisiana has filed two bills for the upcoming session. One would protect the identities of concealed and carry permit holders. Another would nullify future federal laws that infringe on gun rights.
“As a child I never was receptive to the words ‘because I said so.’ ‘How come I have to? – Because I said so.’ Just because an administration sends something down to enforce throughout, just with the signing of a pen through an executive order, doesn’t mean it’s constitutional,” said Thompson.
Thompson says gun violence doesn’t come from those that get their guns legally, but from criminals – and criminals will continue to break the law. “We’ve got laws that say it’s illegal to grow drugs. It’s illegal to manufacture them. It’s illegal to transport them. It’s illegal to sell ‘em. It’s illegal to buy ‘em, and it’s illegal to use ‘em," Thompson said. "How’s that working for us?”
Thompson says the group wants to ramp up gun safety education. “We don’t need to have dangerous and stupid ever intersect,” Thompson said.
The group is concerned not just for people that want to own a gun, but also for children that might be exposed to guns in the home. He said we can educate kids in school using resources the state already has. “We have DARE officers in classrooms, school resource officers, sheriff’s department personnel," Thompson said. "We have firearm experts across our state have the ability to come together and design a program to teach our children.”
Defend Louisiana will be traveling the state to rally support before the session starts in April.