Louisiana is typically considered a gun-friendly state with some of the most lenient regulations on gun ownership. Gun owners in Louisiana are not required to obtain a permit to buy firearms, nor are buyers required to register or license their guns. A concealed carry permit is necessary for handguns, but not shotguns or rifles.
Despite this, Louisiana law does restrict two groups of people from legally possessing a gun: individuals convicted of some violent crimes (with exceptions) and people under the age of 17. There are only some prior convictions that make someone ineligible for gun ownership in Louisiana:
- Domestic abuse battery, including misdemeanor charges, for 10 years after the sentence is completed
- Some felony crimes, including felony drug crimes, burglary, robbery, sex crimes, kidnapping, and crimes of violence, for a period of 10 years once the sentence is complete.
Individuals who are barred from gun ownership are restricted from owning any type of gun, including handguns, shotguns, and rifles. A conviction of criminal gun possession can come with a prison sentence as well as hefty fines.
Domestic Abuse Battery and Firearm Possession
A law passed in 2014 prohibits anyone previously convicted of domestic abuse battery in Louisiana from carrying or owning a gun until a period of 10 years has passed after the sentence is complete. Someone found in possession of a gun before this period expires faces a prison sentence of 1-5 years and a fine of $500 to $1,000.
Felon in Possession of a Firearm
Louisiana law prohibits people convicted of a felony from possessing a gun for at least 10 years after the sentence is complete. Someone convicted of a felony who is found in possession of a firearm of any type faces a minimum prison sentence of 10 years and up to a 20-year sentence. This charge also comes with a fine of $1,000 to $5,000. The only way a felon can have their right to own a gun restored is waiting the 10 years until the end of the sentence.
A conviction of criminal gun possession comes with very strict penalties in Louisiana, but there are possible defense strategies. To be convicted, the prosecution must prove the gun belonged to the defendant, not someone else in the household, and that the defendant had control and possession of the firearm. The prosecution must show that the defendant knew where the firearm was and had access to the gun.
If you are facing a charge of criminal gun possession, it’s important to contact a Louisiana defense attorney as soon as possible. Attorney Eric Johnson has over 24 years of experience defending criminal gun charges throughout Louisiana. Contact the John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm at (318) 479-0562 to schedule a free consultation.