Louisiana Gun Laws

June 17th, 2024

Louisiana Gun Laws

In Louisiana, it is common for an individual to possess a firearm. However, you should consider several things to ensure you do not run afoul of the law.

Do I need a permit to carry a firearm in Louisiana?

Yes, Louisiana does require a permit for concealed carry of a firearm. You must be 21 in Louisiana to apply for a concealed carry gun permit. While you can purchase a gun at the age of 18, you cannot conceal carry until you are 21.

To apply for a permit to conceal carry a weapon in the State of Louisiana, you must be a resident of Louisiana. Louisiana does not issue permits for concealed carry if you are not a Louisiana resident. Louisiana will, however, honor the concealed carry permit from any state.

Types of permits

There are two types of concealed carry permits in Louisiana. There is a five-year permit and a lifetime permit. You can apply for either permit if you are 21 or older and a Louisiana resident.

 Can I carry a firearm without a permit?

The short answer is: it depends. Louisiana law does allow open carry. However, some cities and businesses have enacted different rules that impact whether you can open carry. Several institutions do not allow open carry or concealed carry. For example, you cannot carry a firearm if you are: 

  1. On the premises of an establishment licensed to sell and have alcohol on site;
  2. In a school firearm-free zone; 
  3. Any place of worship; 
  4. In a law enforcement office, prison or jail, or the Courthouse; 
  5. In a building used for voting; 
  6. Where prohibited by Federal Law within an airport. 


Additionally, many private companies also forbid firearms on their premises. These establishments, such as my local Starbucks, have signs on the entry saying no firearms are permitted. 

What if you live out of state and want to conceal carry a handgun? 

Louisiana will not issue a concealed carry permit if you live out of state. We will, however, allow concealed carry if you have a permit from the state in which you reside. You are, however, required to adhere to all Louisiana concealed carry laws even though your concealed carry permit is from another jurisdiction.  

Can I be arrested for carrying a gun?

Even if you are following the concealed carry permit rules, I have still represented clients on a gun charge. The reasons people have been arrested vary greatly, from an officer who has not undergone proper training to local ordinances my clients were unaware of or they forgot to remove their firearm before entering a restricted area to confusion about the validity of the concealed weapons permit. If this happens, you must have an experienced attorney to protect you and your gun rights. 

Do I have to notify an officer I have a firearm if I am stopped?

Yes. I advise my clients always to be upfront if they have a weapon in their vehicle or on their person when they come in contact with law enforcement personnel. Louisiana law requires you to notify any police officer approaching you or your vehicle on official business that you have a firearm present in your vehicle or on your person. Notifying the officer ensures both you and the officer are safe. As always, when you come in contact with an officer, remain respectful and kind because, chances are, the officer is wearing a bodycam, and the interaction will be recorded.

What is open carry in Louisiana?

Louisiana allows open carry once you reach the age of 18. This age is a younger age than the concealed carry permit, which requires you to be 21 years of age. When you open carry in the State of Louisiana, you must follow the same laws applicable to concealed weapons carry, including you cannot open carry a firearm in a restricted area. Many businesses post no weapons signs, which are strictly enforced. If a no weapons sign exists on a business, you must obey this rule; you are not allowed to carry a firearm onto that property. Neither your constitutional right to carry a weapon nor your concealed carry permit overrules the right of the business to prevent firearms on their property. If there is a posted no weapons sign, you are not allowed to carry a weapon onto that property.  

Keep in mind the laws and interpretations are continually changing. As rulings come down from different courts and jurisdictions, these rules are apt to change. 

If you or someone you know has a question about gun rights in Louisiana, do not hesitate to contact the law office of Larrion L. Hillman at 318-549-9810. This blog is not intended as legal advice, nor does it form an attorney-client relationship. Larrion Hillman practices criminal defense in Caddo Parish, Webster Parish, and Bossier Parish, Louisiana. 


And remember, keep calm and let Hillman handle it.

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