BATON ROUGE, La. (WGNO) – Permitless concealed carry has been a hot topic in the state legislature since it was brought to light a few years ago.

House Bill 131, if signed into law, would allow people to conceal and carry a firearm without a permit or training in the state of Louisiana. A Senate committee recently advanced the bill, 4 to 1 this time after amending the bill to change the age requirement from 18 to 21.

However, some believe this change to be unconstitutional.

“If I can join the Marine Corps at 17, be issued a fully automatic grenade launcher, but yet I can’t come home and legally carry a pistol at 20; it just doesn’t make sense,” said NOLATAC Training Owner Brannon Lebouef.

While some government officials have since retracted their support after this amendment, Dillard University Criminal Justice Coordinator Ashraf Esmail says this change is important for reducing crime that the bill may cause.

“A lot of the violence goes between the age of 18 to 25-year-olds. That’s that age that you see a lot of that violent crime and homicide,” said Esmail.

While there are varying responses to this bill moving forward amongst gun safety and training experts, most agree that proper training is still important even if there is less required.

“It’s still each individual’s responsibility to do the right thing, and most people would agree that getting some degree of training is doing the right thing, but doing the right thing shouldn’t necessarily be legally mandated,” said Lebouef.

If this bill becomes law, Louisiana will join the 27 other states that allow permitless concealed carry.

However, according to Esmail, most of these states have seen an increase in crime since the laws have been put in place, and believes that there is some correlation there.

“We see an increase in violent crime by 22% across every state that has had elimination of these permits or licenses, so we do expect to see an increase in violent crimes and homicides,” said Esmail.

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