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Mayor Landrieu, Councilmembers Williams and Gray Announce Ordinance to Promote Gun Safety in New Orleans

April 22, 2016

NEW ORLEANS — Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, in partnership with New Orleans City Councilmembers Williams and Gray, and NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison announced an ordinance aimed at promoting gun safety in New Orleans.

“Public safety is our top priority, and in order to keep our citizens safe, we must do everything we can to promote gun safety and reduce gun violence on our streets and in our community,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “When criminals are intent on doing harm, too many innocent people are caught in the crossfire. We have a moral obligation to do everything in our power to fight back and halt the stream of guns getting in the wrong hands and increasing the penalties when they are used negligently. The measures that I am proposing with Councilmembers Williams and Gray are common sense solutions to address illegal guns and strike at the heart of this wanton violence that unfortunately occurs far too often. I look forward to working with all of our partners on the New Orleans City Council, law enforcement officials, neighborhood leaders and our residents on these gun safety measures. Together, we can stem the tide of gun violence and make New Orleans a city of peace.” 

City Council President Jason Rogers Williams said, “As a community, we cannot sit back and rely on old methods to address our gun violence problem. For too long we have avoided addressing the flow of guns, and the access to guns, because addressing the problem is hard. I am no longer willing to wait. This ordinance takes reasonable, common sense, steps to keep guns away from children and out of the hands of criminals. This ordinance is about gun safety and responsible gun ownership, it does nothing to limit a law abiding citizen’s right to own a gun. We will continue to pursue individuals who choose to commit crimes and harm other with guns. But we must also address the tools of their trade.”

District E Councilmember James Gray said, “We will not live with the level of violence that has plagued this city for generations. We will fight on this, and every front, to reduce that violence. This is a fight we’re going to win.”

District D Councilmember Jared C. Brossett said, “We see so much positivity and optimism in our City, but are unfortunately plagued with many acts of senseless of behavior. The symptoms of this plague manifest in the forms of gun violence and ignorance, and we have no choice but to attack both the symptoms and the root causes with full force. This attack must include declaring that our NORDC facilities are safe zones,” said. “The impact of gun violence is especially pronounced among adolescents and victims of domestic violence. As lawmakers, we must do all that we can to reduce this impact. We must send a strong message that there are significant legal consequences for gun violence and domestic violence. We must also strengthen the bonds of our community and give our young men and women the educational and economic opportunities that lead to success.”

GUN SAFETY ORDINANCE

The Gun Safety Ordinance will make new requirements for reporting a lost or stolen gun, make all NORDC facilities “firearm-free zones,” outlaw guns without serial numbers, prohibit a person convicted of domestic abuse from possessing a gun and criminalize the negligent carrying of a concealed firearm.

Reporting Lost and Stolen Firearms

Many guns that are used in crimes have been stolen and often, those stolen guns have not been reported to local law enforcement. This section would require that the owner of a lost or stolen firearm report it to a NOPD officer within 48 hours of discovery. This section would deter gun trafficking by allowing police to identify potential traffickers based on whether they repeatedly fail to file reports yet claim their guns were lost or stolen after they are discovered at a crime or repeatedly report guns lost or stolen.

A first offense will carry a $250 fine and subsequent offenses will carry a $500 fine.

Possession of a Firearm or Dangerous Weapon in a Firearm-Free Zone

State law prohibits possession of a firearm or dangerous weapon in a “firearm-free zone.” Subject to some exceptions, this includes on or within 1,000 feet of a school campus, on a school bus, or at a facility where a school event, such as a prom, is taking place.

This ordinance mirrors state law but includes “NORDC campus” within the definition of “firearm-free zone.” This ordinance also defines “NORDC campus” as anywhere NORDC-sponsored youth recreational programs are offered. This would effectively prohibit possession of firearms at all NORDC facilities as well as any parks where NORDC youth programming is offered. Each firearm-free zone must be marked by appropriate signage. Altering or defacing signage would violate the ordinance.

Violation would be punished by a $500 fine or six months’ imprisonment.

Possession of or Dealing in Firearms without Serial Number

State law prohibits possession, sale or purchase of firearms where the serial number has been removed; this combats trafficking of untraceable firearms. This ordinance mirrors state law.

Violation would be punished by a $500 fine or six months’ imprisonment.

Possession of a Firearm or Carrying a Concealed Weapon by a Person Convicted of Domestic Abuse Battery

State law prohibits a person who has been convicted of domestic abuse battery from possessing a firearm or concealed weapon for ten years from the conclusion of the sentence or probation for battery. This ordinance mirrors state law but also applies the prohibition for those convicted under the City’s domestic abuse battery law, which is broader in several respects, most notably by including same-sex relationships.

Violation would be punished by a $500 fine or six months’ imprisonment.

Negligent Carrying of a Concealed Firearm

State law prohibits “negligent carrying of a concealed firearm,” which is defined as carrying a concealed firearm in a way that places others in reasonable apprehension that it may discharge or that a crime is being committed. This section mirrors state law.

Violation would be punished by a $500 fine or six months’ imprisonment.  

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