Several Louisiana lawmakers have presented bills this session in response to the mass shootings in Las Vegas and Parkland, Fla. Most were aimed at allowing individuals — like teachers or former law enforcement officers — to carry a gun on school campuses. Others, like those from Sen. Troy Carter (D-New Orleans), restrict the type of weapon someone can buy — and who can buy it.
"I am not of the mind of some who thinks that we should be attacking one's ability to bear arms because that's not my position at all," explained Carter.
But he would like to see some more regulation around the buying and selling of assault weapons.
"We're in a position now that we have to tighten our belts if you will. So we give up a little bit of our freedom to make sure that the greater good is protected," he said.
One bill would have raised the age to buy an assault weapon in Louisiana from 18 to 21. But it faced too much opposition from groups like the NRA, who say it’s an infringement on 2nd amendment rights. That bill failed to make it out of the Senate.
Joining a growing list of states, Sen. Carter has introduced another bill to ban the buying and selling of bump stocks — devices that can be attached to a gun to make it fire at a rapid pace. It narrowly passed a Senate committee, but Carter hasn’t presented it to the full Senate yet.
"The level of support to pass it is not there at this time,” he said.
So far this session, the Legislature hasn’t shown a willingness to support these gun measures, but Carter says the conversation is just as important.
"The public debate is a must. This is an issue that demands some public discussion and policy change,” he suggested.
Just last week, one bill squeaked out of a House committee. It would allow anyone with a concealed carry permit to bring their weapons onto certain areas of school and universities campuses.