Louisiana is one of the least restrictive states in the US when it comes to gun laws. Nonetheless, it is still important that you know everything you need to know about Louisiana gun laws if you plan on living and owning a gun in Louisiana.
Overview of Gun Laws in Louisiana for 2022
Louisiana is a shall-issue state where concealed carry permits are processed by the Department of Public Safety. The state does not prohibit the open carry of firearms in public as long as the person carrying the gun is above 18 years old and is not prohibited from possessing a firearm.
Though, there still are areas that are off-limits, including parades and bars.
Concealed weapons carry is legal for residents of Louisiana provided that they have a Louisiana Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) and a permit/license from a state recognized by Louisiana for non-residents.
Though the state does not issue permits to non-residents, Louisiana does issue concealed carry permits to residents and members of military that are permanently stationed in Louisiana. Applicants for the concealed handgun permit need to be at least 21 years old, a resident of LA and have completed a firearms training course.
Louisiana is a Castle Doctrine state that supports a “stand your ground” statute. Residents of Louisiana do not have a duty to retreat in any place the person has legal right to be and the said person also has a right to meet force with force.
Use of Force in Defense
The use of force in defense is justifiable under the following situations:
- To prevent a forcible offence against the person or trespass against the person’s property, provided that the force used is reasonable and necessary to prevent such offence.
- To prevent unlawful entry into the dwelling, place of business or motor vehicle.
Defense of Others
The state of Louisiana also allows justifiable use of deadly force when it is reasonably apparent that such intervention is necessary to protect another person.
Types of Permits Available in Louisiana
The first thing you need to know about Louisiana gun laws is when you’re eligible to apply for a concealed carry permit. Louisiana requires residents to be at least 21 years old to apply for a permit to conceal carry a gun. Although residents can purchase a gun at 18, they cannot practice concealed carry until they are 21 years old.
Not only do you need to meet the age limit, you must also be a resident of Louisiana. The state does not issue concealed carry permits to non-residents.
For non-residents, you’ll need to get your conceal carry permit from whatever state you’re a resident of, and will need to follow that state’s rules when it comes to concealed handguns.
Louisiana offers two types of permits for conceal carry: five-year permit and a lifetime permit – both of which are open for any resident of Louisiana above the age of 21 years old and fulfills any other state laws required.
Potential Louisiana Law Allowing Conceal Carry Without a Permit
There’s a law in Louisiana that may be potentially passed that will allow eligible landowners to conceal carry their firearms without a permit or training.
Though this law has not been decided on, it could potentially be a new Louisiana law that allows residents above the age of 21 years old to conceal carry their firearm without a Louisiana concealed carry permit.
Places Where You Can Legally Carry Firearm in Louisiana
Many places in other states where you can carry your firearm can also be carried in Louisiana. These places allow you to both conceal carry or have your firearm with you. However, if the location has a “No Weapons Sign”, that will take precedence over this list.
Places in which you can legally perform concealed weapons carry in Louisiana:
- State parks
- State and national forests.
- Roadside rest areas.
- Your private vehicle.
- Any part of the state that’s not listed in the section below.
Where You Cannot Carry Firearm in Louisiana
Although Louisiana has relatively relaxed gun laws, the state does have many places where you’re not allowed to carry your firearm even if you have a Louisiana permit for it.
You are expected to obey these laws at all times or you could face a strict fine or even be sent to jail. Here are the places where you’re not allowed to perform concealed weapons carry in Louisiana:
- Any law enforcement building, local police office or station.
- Detention facilities, prisons, and jails.
- Courthouse or courtroom.
- Polling place during voting season.
- A meeting place that’s part of a political subdivision of the government.
- State capitol building.
- Any part of an airport facility.
- All places of worship.
- Any type of parade or demonstration.
- Bar area of a restaurant.
- Any place that sells alcoholic beverages.
- In all schools, learning facilities, and gun-free school zones
- Any place prohibited by Federal law.
Are You Required to Notify A Police Officer If You Have a Firearm in Your Vehicle?
Yes, Louisiana law requires you to notify and inform any police officer or law enforcement officer approaching you or your vehicle that you have a firearm present in the vehicle.
This law is set to keep both you and the officers safe during any exchange. Be sure to remain calm and polite when telling them about the firearm in the vehicle to ensure nothing goes south.
Those with a concealed handgun with them must also carry their concealed handgun permit unit. This is so that you can show proof that you are legally allowed to carry your firearm in case an officer pulls you over.
Is Open Carry in Louisiana Allowed?
The State Law in Louisiana does allow open carry in Louisiana once you reach 18 years old. This law is unlike concealed carry where residents need to be at least 21 years old.
Though the state law actually allows open carry at a much younger age, the federal law overrides it and states that you need to be at least 18 years old to open carry in Louisiana.
When you’re open to carrying a gun, you must follow all no gun carry laws and any other gun laws in place for the area. Failure to comply with the gun laws will result with a hefty fine or serving a large amount of jail time.
Are “No Weapons” Signs Enforceable?
Yes, all “No Weapons” signs in Louisiana are strictly enforced by Louisiana gun laws to ensure the safety and right of all private landowners to keep you from carrying a firearm on their property.
Every resident must obey a no weapons sign and are not allowed to carry their firearm there. As long as there’s a No Weapons sign, you’re not allowed to carry your firearm there even if you think it is your constitutional right or have a concealed carry permit.
Failure to obey the No Weapons sign will result in severe consequences including no longer being allowed to carry a firearm, paying a hefty fine, being jailed, or a combination of these.
Concealed Carry Permit Information
The person applying for the permit must:
- Be at least 21 years old.
- Have completed a firearms training course.
- Be a resident of the state of Louisiana or a member of military permanently stationed in Louisiana
- Be a US citizen.
- Must not have been convicted of a misdemeanour in this or other state relating to controlled dangerous substance within the last 5 years.
- Not have been convicted of a crime of violence within the last 5 years.
- Not have been convicted of a crime of violence or any crime punishable by imprisonment for a term of 1 year or greater.
- Not have a history of engaging in violent behavior.
- Not have had a permit revoked within 4 years.
- Not have had a permit denied within 1 year.
- Not be a fugitive from justice.
- Not be an unlawful user of, or addicted to marijuana, depressants, stimulants, or narcotic drugs.
- Not have been adjudicated to be mentally deficient or been committed to a mental institution.
- Not have been dishonourably discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States.
- Met federal law requirements.
Fees: Initial permits and renewals – $125 (65 years and older or active duty military personnel get 50% off – $62.50)
Lifetime permit – $500 (65 years and older or active duty military personnel get 50% off – $250)
Validity: 5 years
Processing time: No state law on file:
Non-resident Concealed Carry Permits: Yes but only for members of the military permanently stationed in Louisiana with a Louisiana driver’s license or Louisiana state ID.
Carry Permit Application Process:
Step 1: Complete a firearm training course.
Step 2: Download the application form or apply online.
Step 3: Contact your local law enforcement office, sheriff’s department, or State Police Headquarters for fingerprinting.
Step 4: Prepare the following documents:
- Application with the 3 affidavits completed and notarized;
- Copy of Louisiana driver’s license or state identification card;
- Correct fee;
- Proof of training;
- Two sets of fingerprints on an FBI Applicant Card;
- Marital Status – If you are divorced, copies of the divorce settlement, decree or final judgment along with any orders or injunctions of the court must be included;
- Arrests – If you have been arrested, you must include certified-true copies of court minutes as requested in the “Arrests, Detention and Litigation Section” of the application. You must still list violations that were EXPUNGED, DISMISSED or SET ASIDE or for which you were PARDONED;
- Military – If you have served in the Armed Forces of the United States, you must include a copy of your DD-214. If you are currently serving in the Armed Forces of the United States, you must include a copy of your current orders or a copy of your military ID if allowed; and
- Medical Summary Disposition – If you answered “yes” to any medical questions in #13-19, the Medical Summary must be completed by the treating physician. This information MUST be included with your application.
Step 5: Submit your application and documents by mail to:
Louisiana State Police
Concealed Handgun Permit Unit
P.O. Box 66375
Baton Rouge, LA 70896
Step 6: Wait for the notification of your application’s status.
Firearms Training Requirements in Louisiana
An applicant needs to be able to demonstrate their competence with a handgun by any one of the following:
- Completion of any National Rifle Association handguns safety or training course, conducted by a National Rifle Association-certified instructor
- Completion of any Department of Public Safety and Corrections approved firearms safety or training course or class available offered by a law enforcement agency, college, or private or public institution or organization or firearms training school
- Completion of any law enforcement firearms safety or training course or class approved by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections and offered for security guards, investigators, special deputies, or any division or subdivision of law enforcement or security enforcement;
- Completion of small arms training while serving with the Armed Forces of the United States of America as evidenced by a DD-214 or service record evidence of having successfully completed small arms training and qualification.
- The National Rifle Association’s personal protection course.
Louisiana Concealed Weapons Carry Reciprocity With Other States
- Alabama (at least 21 years old)
- Florida (handguns only)
- Georgia (at least 21 years old)
- Idaho (Enhanced permits only)
- Indiana (at least 21 years old)
- Maine (at least 21 years old)
- Missouri (at least 21 years old)
- Montana (at least 21 years old)
- New Hampshire (at least 21 years old)
- North Carolina
- North Dakota (at least 21 years old)
- South Carolina
- South Dakota (at least 21 years old)
- Utah (at least 21 years old)
- Vermont (even though VT doesn’t issue licenses)
- West Virginia (at least 21 years old)
Other States’ Reciprocity With Louisiana
- Arkansas (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
- Idaho (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
- Mississippi (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
- Montana (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
- New Hampshire (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
- North Carolina
- South Dakota (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
- Vermont (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)