Louisiana gun rights group holds first official meetings in Alexandria, Bastrop

by Lauren McGaughy, NOLA.com  |  published on March 5, 2013

defend LA

Defend Louisiana, a statewide initiative to defend gun rights spearheaded by state Rep. Jeff Thompson, held its first official events in Alexandria and Bastrop this weekend. The Bossier City Republican said the initiative garnered 750 more signatures for the initiative’s pro-Second Amendment rights petition at Saturday’s events.

“We were very pleased with the turnout and overwhelming support shown and very much look forward to visiting other towns and cities across Louisiana in the coming weeks and months,” Thompson said in an email Saturday night.

The Defend La. motto is as follows:

“I pledge to defend the right for law abiding citizens to protect their families, and will work against attempts to restrict my right to keep and bear arms by standing up for the Second Amendment and letting my voice be heard.”

In the next few weeks, Thompson said he would travel throughout the state gathering support for the petition, rolled out as a counter-proposal to the $50 million gun control package put forth by President Barack Obama in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. elementary school shooting in December.

The petition, which now has 4,000 signatures, will be presented at a press conference on April 8, the first day of the 2013 legislative session.

In the last month, state lawmakers have pre-filed seven bills on gun safety and ownership rights. Three of the seven aim to block any new federal laws passed that conflict with state laws.

Gun control laws in Louisiana are considered some of the most permissive in the country. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gave the state a 2 out of 100 score in 2010, tying Oklahoma for second-to-last place. And according to CDC numbers released in 2010, Louisiana ranked second in per-capita deaths by firearms, just below Alaska.

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