POSTED: Thursday, January 2, 2014 - 7:35pm
UPDATED: Thursday, January 2, 2014 - 7:43pm
CENTRAL, LA (NBC33) — Tighter gun laws in Louisiana are in effect. Now, names of people who have documented mental illnesses won't be allowed to buy any more guns.
So how big of a change is that for people who sell guns?
Joe Craig's been in the gunsmithing business for a while now, 35 years in fact, and he's seen a lot of changes. So when this new gun law took effect, he wasn't surprised.
"No, keeping guns out of the hands of mentally incompetent people, no, I have nothing against that," Craig said. "The general concern with most gun owners and people in the gun business is it is never simply that. It's never simply this is what we want. It's always what they want tomorrow."
"It allows the courts to forward information relative to somebody's mental status to the supreme court, which then forwards it to the national database," Capt. Doug Cain of Louisiana State Police explained. "So if somebody with a documented mental illness goes into a gun shop, goes to purchase a weapon and apply for it, they're going to be denied."
For gun sellers, not much has changed. The mental illness question on the legal background check forms has been on there for years, and for privacy reasons, gun sellers still won't know why someone's denied.
"You basically receive an instant proceed, a delay, or a denial," Craig said.
This legislation was passed in the last session after the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
"The Sandy Hook incident, even with the mental background check, he would have not been kept from getting those guns. He got them from his mother," Craig said.
State Police said, this is a step in the right direction.
"It's all about safety for the community. It's about making sure that gun owners are allowed to have guns and people that don't abide by the law or have documented mental illnesses, don't have access to guns."
What do you think about the new laws?