LA Supreme Court to hear argument on whether law barring felons from guns is constitutional


Paul Purpura
The Times-Picayune
October 14, 2013

Louisiana Supreme Court justices are scheduled to hear argument Monday afternoon on whether the state law barring convicted felons from possessing firearms is constitutional. The conflict stems from the constitutional amendment Louisiana voters overwhelmingly passed in November making gun ownership a “fundamental” right.

The constitutional challenge stems from New Orleans Criminal District Court Judge Darryl Derbigny’s ruling in March, when he tossed out the felon with a firearm charge prosecutors filed against Glen P. Draughter, 21. Under Louisiana’s 1975 law, Draughter was prohibited from having guns because of a burglary conviction. He was arrested with an assault rifle in April 2012, and New Orleans prosecutors charged him under the law.

Almost 75 percent of Louisiana voters who cast ballots in November approved adding to the state constitution, “The right of individuals to acquire, keep, possess, transport, carry, transfer, and use arms for defense of life and liberty, and for all other legitimate purposes, is fundamental and shall not be denied or infringed, and any restriction on this right must be subjected to strict scrutiny.”

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