Bill restricting federal government's reach on semi-automatic weapon bans moves forward

Louisiana Politics

POSTED: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 7:30pm

UPDATED: Thursday, April 18, 2013 - 4:34pm

The battle over gun control wages on right here in Louisiana. Those for and against gun restrictions got pretty heated Wednesday morning discussing close to a dozen proposed gun laws.

"fix the problem, lets not fix the symptoms, let's fix the problem," exclaimed Democratic Representative Terry Landry.

The outburst came during discussion of a proposed law that would ban the federal government from putting restrictions on Louisiana gun owners ability to buy semi-automatic weapons. The bill, written to fight any federal law that bans semi-automatic weapons stirred up major debate.

"The bill does actually make it to where it's un-enforceable for some to come in and take the rights away of a Louisiana citizen," said Jim Morris, the Republican State Representative who wrote the bill.

" What do we hope to accomplish by telling the federal government that they can't come in and enforce laws. That relate to the second amendment," Landry queried.

Committee members who are opposed to restricting the federal government’s ability to enforce laws restricting gun ownership feel the bill could start a slippery slope.

"What's next? We're going to succeed from our country? This great nation? When we start restricting federal agents from enforcing laws we don't agree with," said Landry.

"Tell me how this is taking away your rights? It's not preventing you from buying guns," Democrat Barbara Norton added.

After over an hour of debate the hotly contested bill made its way through the committee in an 8 to 6 vote.

"This is what the bill is intended to do. To protect the 99% of people who use guns for the right reasons and not sanction them for the 1% of people who don't," clarified Republican Sherman Mack. Mack was one of the eight in favor of the bill.

And in the end the committee agreed, passing the hot topic on to the house floor.

"I would just respectfully request, whether you like this or not, it is worthy of debate on the floor. I am just trying to put an obstacle between me and someone who is trying to take my gun away," Morris said.

The federal government has not passed any restrictions on semi-automatic weapons yet. The bill now goes to the house floor for a vote.

NBC33's Alex Deiro will continue to follow this and other bills througout the session. 'Like' her Facebook page for the latest.

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