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Firearms Manufacturing Bill Advances in Senate

A bill that would allow gun buyers and sellers to circumvent any federal firearm ban if a gun is manufactured in-state has advanced in the Senate.

Republican Rep. Joseph Lopinto told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday his measure, which was filed in reaction to the debate over an assault weapons ban in Congress, would create a state license to manufacture guns for sale to only Louisiana citizens.  

"And all if these guidelines are completed and done with, the theory, at least, is that it’s not under the Commerce Clause," said Lopinto.

Lopinto said this would allow Louisiana to continue to make, buy and sell firearms or ammunition that may have federal restrictions.

The state police have estimated it would cost $2.2 million to set up the licensing, and $600,000 per-year afterwards. Legislative fiscal analysts say they can’t make estimates at this time because it’s unclear if any of the firearms manufacturers in state would seek the license.

The “Louisiana Manufactured Firearms and Ammunition Act”, which has already been through the House, now heads to the full Senate.

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Ashley Westerman is a producer who occasionally directs the show. Since joining the staff in June 2015, she has produced a variety of stories including a coal mine closing near her hometown, the 2016 Republican National Convention, and the Rohingya refugee crisis in southern Bangladesh. She is also an occasional reporter for Morning Edition, and, where she has contributed reports on both domestic and international news.

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