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Louisiana Veto and Override Prospects for Constitutional Carry

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Article first appeared on Ammoland.com

U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- The Louisiana Legislature passed SB118, Constitutional Carry, on 1 June 2021. The Senate passed the bill 27 to 9. The House passed the bill 73 to 28. The bill was enrolled, signed by the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate on 3 June, and sent to Governor Edwards by the Secretary of the Senate on 4 June 2021.

Under the Louisiana Constitution, if the Legislature is not in session ten days after the bill is delivered to the governor, the governor has 20 days to veto the bill after delivery.

The bill was delivered to the governor after 4 June 2021. The Louisiana Legislature adjourned on 10 June 2021. Governor Edwards has until the 24th of June to sign SB118, veto the bill, or allow it to become law.

If Constitutional Carry or any other bill is vetoed (almost certain in Louisiana this year), there will be a veto session starting on 20 July 2021. The veto session could be stopped if a majority in either the House or the Senate agree, in writing, not to have a veto session.

This seems unlikely with strong majorities of Republicans in both the House and the Senate and a Democrat Governor. Louisiana veto procedure is spelled out in the Louisiana Constitution, Article III, Section 18:

(C) Veto Session.

(1) A bill vetoed and returned and subsequently approved by two-thirds of the elected members of each house shall become law. The legislature shall meet in veto session in the state capital at noon on the fortieth day following final adjournment of the most recent session, to consider all bills vetoed by the governor. If the fortieth day falls on Sunday, the session shall convene at noon on the succeeding Monday. No veto session shall exceed five calendar days, and any veto session may be finally adjourned prior to the end of the fifth day upon a vote of two-thirds of the elected members of each house.
(2) No veto session shall be held if a majority of the elected members of either house declare in writing that a veto session is unnecessary. The declaration must be received by the presiding officer of the respective houses at least five days prior to the day on which the veto session is to convene.[1

This part of the Louisiana Constitution was amended on 7 October 1989. Since then there have been two successful veto overrides, one in 1991, another in 1993, both during the regular session. If a veto session is held in 2021, which seems likely, it will be the first veto session under this Constitutional provision.

Two-thirds of votes in both the House and the Senate are needed to override a veto. A veto session can only last five days.

We will know if Governor Edwards chooses to veto bills by the 25th of June. We will know if there will be a veto session of the legislature by 15 July 2021.

There are 105 members of the Louisiana Legislature. Two-thirds, or 70 votes would be needed to override a veto.

66 Republicans, 1 independent (Adams), and 6 Democrats voted for SB 118 in the House. One Republican voted against the bill, Representative Freiberg, Barbara Reich  District 70.

One Republican, Hilferty, was absent. The six Democrats who voted for Constitutional Carry were:

  • Representative Chad Brown, District 60
  • Representative  Robert (Robby) Carter, District 72
  • Representative  Mack Cormier  District 105
  • Representative  Jeremy S. LaCombe District 18
  • Representative  Francis C. Thompson District 19
  • Representative Malinda B. White District 12

There are 68 Republican representatives, 2 independents, and 35 Democrats.

If all Republicans vote for a veto override, they will need two more votes. It could be close.

In the Senate, there are 27 Republicans and 12 Democrats. 26 votes are two thirds. The Republicans in the Senate have sufficient votes to override a veto without Democrat help.

By the Constitution of Louisiana, we will know what the outcome is by 25 July, 2021.

Governors have ways to change votes to prevent an override of a veto. In Wisconsin, in 2004, a Democrat legislator, Gary Sherman, changed his long-time support for a Concealed Carry bill to prevent a veto override by one vote.

Sherman was appointed a judge to the Wisconsin Court of appeals in 2010, by Governor Doyle.

Louisiana Governor Edwards is term-limited. His term ends on January 8th, 2024. There is plenty of time for Governor Edwards to appoint a few judges.


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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