BOSSIER CITY GUN CRIME LAWYER
Navigating gun legislation in Bossier City requires an understanding of Louisiana state laws and an awareness of the local statutes that govern firearm possession and use within city limits. Bossier City criminal defense lawyer Michael J. Vergis is a leader in an area saturated with criminal defense attorneys, with his legal expertise, knowledge of criminal law, and steadfast commitment to upholding his clients’ firearm rights.
Whether you fully believe that you are within your rights as a U.S. citizen, facing possible criminal charges for gun possession can carry serious penalties impacting the rest of your life, which is why you need an experienced criminal defense attorney in your corner. When you choose the Law Offices of Michael J. Vergis, you can trust that your Bossier City criminal defense lawyer will do whatever it takes to ensure your Second Amendment rights are fully protected and respected. If you’re facing criminal charges for gun possession in Bossier City, Louisiana, contact the Law Offices of Michael J. Vergis at (318) 698-3724 today.
Louisiana Gun Laws
Louisiana’s gun laws are more relaxed, especially when compared to strict states like California and New York. For example, Louisiana does not require a permit to purchase a firearm, and there is no state-imposed waiting period. The state does not mandate the registration of firearms either, which further distinguishes its gun laws from those in more restrictive states.
While Louisiana laws regarding gun possession may seem weak, the state does have certain restrictions in place detailing who can and cannot own or possess a firearm and the areas where firearms are prohibited. Anyone who violates Louisiana’s gun laws can face serious penalties, especially if the firearm is used in the commission of a crime or if the offender has previous felony convictions.
Both Louisiana residents and gun owners need to understand the intricacies of the state’s specific gun laws and the repercussions for violating them. If you’ve been arrested on criminal charges related to gun possession but believe you are well within your rights, contact the Bossier City criminal defense lawyers at the Law Office of Michael J. Vergis.
Concealed Carry Permit Laws
In Louisiana, concealed carry permits are issued on a shall-issue basis, requiring applicants to be at least 21 years old, pass a background check, and complete a state-approved firearms training course. A “shall-issue” state means that if someone meets all the requirements to carry a gun, the state has no reason to deny them a permit.
As of 2023, concealed carry is legal in all 50 states, but not all states require training or training that involves firing an actual gun. Louisiana is one of several states requiring both to obtain a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP).
The concealed carry permit is valid for five years and is subject to renewal with another background check. Louisiana recognizes concealed carry permits from certain states and lists areas where carrying a concealed weapon is prohibited, even with a permit. Permit holders must inform law enforcement officers that they are carrying a concealed weapon when approached.
No Carry After Violent Offense
Federal laws prohibit the majority of those convicted of felony offenses in Louisiana from possessing guns. However, these federal laws do not include misdemeanor criminal charges other than those relating to domestic abuse. Louisiana is one of the 23 states that bans anyone who has been convicted of a violent misdemeanor crime from carrying a concealed weapon.
Prohibited Areas for Guns
Even those with concealed carry permits are prohibited from carrying their firearm in certain areas. Places like schools, college campuses, and bars can vary depending on the state. It’s important to be familiar with the areas that your state prohibits concealed carry weapons.
Areas in Louisiana where concealed carry weapons are prohibited:
- K-12 Schools – It might be surprising, but several states allow teachers and employees at schools to carry firearms on site. Louisiana, however, is one of 34 states that oppose arming teachers.
- College Campuses: Louisiana is one of 38 states that does not allow concealed carry weapons on college campuses. This means that the state laws do not force colleges within Louisiana to allow on-campus concealed firearms.
- Bars: With cities like Baton Rouge and New Orleans known for their bar scenes, it might be a shock that Louisiana bans concealed carry weapons in bars. There are currently only 15 states that prohibit guns in bars.
Convicted Domestic Violence Offenders
The current federal laws regarding gun possession and domestic abuse only ban those convicted of this crime while:
- Married to their partner
- Living with their partner
- Have a child with their partner
These laws leave room for what is known as the “boyfriend loophole,” which deals with unmarried partners who have been convicted of domestic violence. While Louisiana bars those convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse offenses from having firearms, they only follow the above federal law guidelines. Only 22 states have closed the boyfriend loophole by taking the firearm ban a step further to include anyone considered to be in a serious relationship who has been convicted of domestic abuse.
Domestic Abusers Under Restraining Orders
Federal laws prohibit anyone with a domestic violence restraining order from having a gun. However, similar to the restrictions above, these guidelines only adhere to those married, living with their partner, or having a child with their partner. Since federal law does not include the boyfriend loophole, it’s up to states to close it. Louisiana has closed the boyfriend loophole banning domestic violence offenders with restraining orders to include abusive dating partners.
Mental Health Record Reporting
Following the horrific mass shooting at Virginia Tech, many states have required officials to report anyone who has been deemed mentally incompetent or who has been committed to a mental institution as a way to restrict firearm purchases further. In Louisiana, officials are required to report mental health records.
Failed Background Check Reporting
Louisiana is only one of 12 states that require the reporting of failed background checks to local officials. So, if a person attempts to purchase a firearm but fails the background check, law enforcement will be notified. This allows them to investigate the individual further and potentially prevent them from obtaining a gun another way.
Common Gun Crimes in Louisiana
Listed below are the most common gun crimes that criminal defense attorney Michael J. Vergis has represented clients against.
- Illegal Carrying of Weapons: This includes carrying a concealed weapon without a valid permit or a firearm in prohibited places.
- Possession by a Convicted Felon: Under Louisiana law, it is illegal for any person convicted of certain felonies to possess a firearm or carry a concealed weapon for ten years from the completion of sentence, probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.
- Illegal Use of Weapons: This crime includes the illegal discharge of a firearm where it is forbidden or in a manner that is negligent and endangers others.
- Illegal Carrying and Discharge of Weapons During a Crime: Carrying or using a firearm while committing or attempting to commit a crime can lead to additional charges and enhanced penalties.
- Possession of a Firearm While Committing Drug Crimes: Having a firearm on your person while engaging in drug trafficking or distribution can lead to additional charges beyond the drug offense itself.
- Firearm-Free Zone Violations: Bringing a firearm into a designated firearm-free zone, such as a school or school-sponsored event, is considered a criminal offense.
- Unlawful Sales or Transfers of Firearms: This includes selling firearms without a proper license or to prohibited individuals such as minors or felons.
- Modification of Firearms: This includes removing or altering a firearm’s serial number or modifying a gun to function as an automatic weapon.
Impact of a Gun Crime Conviction in Louisiana
A gun crime conviction in Louisiana can carry severe legal consequences and have a profound impact on virtually all aspects of an individual’s life. The legal repercussions of a gun crime include:
- Imprisonment: Many gun crimes come with mandatory minimum sentences, and some may carry the possibility of life imprisonment, especially if the firearm was used in the commission of violent or drug crimes.
- Fines: Convictions can result in substantial fines, which vary depending on the severity of the offense.
- Criminal Records: A gun crime conviction will appear on an individual’s criminal record.
- Probation or Parole: After serving time, individuals may be placed on probation or parole, during which they must comply with various conditions or risk being sent back to prison.
After serving time for firearm criminal charges, individuals will continue to face the consequences of their convictions for many years to come. Having a criminal offense on your record can make certain things difficult, especially if they involve running a background check. A criminal conviction can make finding a job, owning a home, and being approved for loans and credit difficult. Those convicted can also lose their right to vote and own a firearm.
Why You Need an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney for Weapons Offenses
If you’re facing weapons offenses in Bossier City, Louisiana, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is critical. When you choose the Law Offices of Michael J. Vergis, you can trust that your criminal defense lawyer knows both state and federal gun laws to navigate the complexities of your criminal case.
Not only will your Bossier City criminal defense attorney protect your rights, but you can expect a tailored defense strategy unique to your criminal charges. Criminal defense attorney Michael J. Vergis will work to mitigate the consequences of a conviction and bring invaluable courtroom experience to your defense. The expertise and proven track record at this law firm are indispensable when seeking the best possible outcome for criminal cases.
Charged With a Gun Crime? Call Shreveport-Bossier City Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael J. Vergis Today
If you’ve been charged with a gun crime in Bossier City, Louisiana, the time to secure legal representation is now. When you contact experienced criminal defense attorney Michael J. Vergis, you’re not only getting legal representation, but also an advocate in your corner who understands the weight of what you’re facing. Don’t let a gun charge define your future—call the Law Office of Michael J. Vergis and take the first step towards experienced, dedicated defense. Call (318) 698-3724 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation.