Thursday, July 03, 2014

Fundamental

I've blogged before on this topic, our Louisiana Constitution, which says, in part: "The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms is fundamental and shall not be infringed.  Any restriction on this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny."   and, I cautioned that we, as a state, would have to figure out what that means. It seems that our state Supreme Court has helped us out.

The Louisiana Supreme Court issued some opinions earlier this week consolidating some cases and ruling on the constitutionality of La RS 14:95.1, our law that prohibits convicted felons from possessing firearms.  It seems that RS 14:95.1 survives strict scrutiny and stands as written.  (Link to .pdf opinion here).  As the Times-Picayune reports:
While the law is designed to keep guns out of the hands of criminals who are likely to offend again, it also means people who've been convicted of felonies may not hunt with guns. Convicted felons are barred from firearms during the 10-year period that begins when they complete their punishment for the underlying felony. Conviction under the law, Revised Statute 14:95.1, carries a punishment of 10 years to 20 years in prison.
Felons can still hunt in Louisiana, they simply can't use that implement defined as a firearm.  For the record, I hunted deer for many years with a traditional muzzle-loading rifle, a Thompson/Center Renegade, and did quite well with it.  Traditional muzzle-loading guns are not defined as firearms  In the alternative, a felon can use archery.  He's not prohibited from hunting, he's prohibited from using a firearm.

That seems like the correct result to me.

**Update** Volokh looks at the opinion, as well.

1 comment:

JoeMama said...

The BATF exempts muzzleloaders from firearm regulations.

Not all states agree.

Michigan considers muzzleloaders firearms.

Nobody ever claimed that law followed any logic. If it did there would be over a million unemployed lawyers.