NEW ORLEANS – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed an ordinance into law aimed at promoting gun safety in New Orleans. Led by City Councilmembers Jason Williams and James Gray, the New Orleans City Council unanimously passed the Gun Safety Ordinance yesterday. The Gun Safety Ordinance makes new requirements for reporting a lost or stolen gun, makes all NORDC facilities “firearm-free zones” and criminalizes the negligent carrying of a concealed firearm.
“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 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. By signing the Gun Safety Ordinance into law, we are giving NOPD more tools to stem the tide of gun violence in New Orleans. I want to thank the New Orleans City Council, especially Councilmembers Williams and Gray, for your leadership in helping craft this ordinance. I look forward to continuing to work with all of our partners, including law enforcement officials, neighborhood leaders and our residents as we make New Orleans a city of peace.”
Councilmember-At-Large Jason Williams said, "At the commencement of today's council meeting I received information that there was an active shooter at a high school in Texas. Few details were clear early on, but what is clear is that these incidents are occurring far too frequently in this country. As a public servant I am not willing to simply sit back and rely on old methods to address our gun violence crisis. This ordinance takes very reasonable measures and steps to keep guns away from young people and out of the hands of criminals. This ordinance will do nothing to limit a law abiding citizen's right to own a gun. It is singularly focused on gun safety and gun responsibility."
District E Councilmember James A. Gray II said “Our gun legislation is meant to send a message. We will do everything in our power to reduce the number of our children that are killed every year in New Orleans. We simply will not tolerate it. I grew up with guns, my father taught me how to shoot and how to be responsible. I was a Marine in combat in Vietnam. An M16 and an AK47 are not hunting rifles. A Glock 19 with a 33-bullet magazine was not made to shoot deer. These guns were made to kill people. If you’re going to own a gun, you have to be responsible and make sure that your lost or stolen gun isn’t used to hurt anyone."
District A Councilmember Susan Guidry said, “"I am proud to have been joined by my colleagues in unanimously passing the Gun Safety Ordinance. Responsible gun ownership includes taking steps to secure your firearm and contacting the proper authorities if it is lost or stolen. Criminals cannot be prosecuted for possession of a stolen firearm if the firearm is not reported stolen in the first place.”
District C Councilmember Nadine Ramsey said, “It is important to do all that we can to reduce gun violence. This involves reducing the number of guns on the street and fostering responsible ownership for those who choose to own guns. I’m happy to support this effort which I believe will make our City safer.”
GUN SAFETY ORDINANCE
The Gun Safety Ordinance makes new requirements for reporting a lost or stolen gun, makes all NORDC facilities “firearm-free zones” and criminalizes 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. The Gun Safety Ordinance requires that the owner of a lost or stolen firearm report it to a NOPD officer within 48 hours of discovery. This will 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. At this time, no state law currently exists requiring the reporting of lost or stolen firearms.
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.
The Gun Safety Ordinance makes all NORDC facilities “firearm-free zones,” effectively prohibiting possession of firearms at all NORDC facilities. Each NORDC facility will be marked by appropriate signage as a “firearm-free zone.” Altering or defacing this signage violates this ordinance.
Violation of this ordinance carry a punishable offense of 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. The Gun Safety Ordinance mirrors this state law.
Violation is punishable by a $500 fine or six months’ imprisonment.
A picture from today's Gun Safety Ordinance signing is below.