New Orleans Shooting That Killed 1, Injured 11 Renews Calls For Changes To New Concealed Carry Law

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A shooting outside a New Orleans nightclub that left one woman dead and 11 other people wounded prompted renewed calls Monday for changes to a pending Louisiana law allowing concealed carry of a handgun without a permit.

The shooting took place late Sunday in the city's Warehouse District, an area of apartments, office buildings, restaurants and bars. Witnesses told local news outlets the gunfire sparked chaos as patrons of Republic NOLA fled. No arrests have been made.

City officials said at a Monday afternoon news conference about the shooting that statistics show violent crime and homicide rates are declining in the city. But the Republic NOLA shooting and last week's killing of a security guard in a bar in another part of New Orleans have put violent crime back in the spotlight in the tourism-dependent city.

Police Superintendent Anne Kirkpatrick said at the news conference that legislators should exempt New Orleans from the no-permit-carry law, which takes effect July 4. Failing that, Kirkpatrick said, the city's major entertainment areas, such as the French Quarter and Warehouse District, should be carved out of the law.

“It wasn't thought through,” Kirkpatrick said of the law passed during a January special session and signed by the state's new Republican governor, Jeff Landry.

Police and Democrats have said the law will increase danger by letting people untrained in firearms use carry concealed weapons. They also say it will make law enforcement more difficult by eliminating a possible cause for stopping and searching people suspected of carrying guns in crowds.

The new legislation makes Louisiana the 28th state with such a law. Republican state Sen. Blake Miguez, who sponsored the legislation and rejected calls for carveouts in January, has said the measure was needed to protect 2nd Amendment rights.

Miguez and other Republicans argued that criminals ignore gun requirements and that law-abiding citizens should be allowed to carry concealed weapons without a permit to protect themselves.


Associated Press reporter Sara Cline in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, contributed to this story.