How Serious is a Gun Charge in Louisiana?
How serious is a gun charge in Louisiana? If you want to know the answer to that question, you’ve come to the right place. In addition, our Baton Rouge law office will answer any questions you may have on the subject.
The first thing to understand is that carrying a gun is a legal thing for most adults in Louisiana. The same is true of buying a gun. Therefore, the purchase and carrying of a gun is not something serious by itself. Things change based on the circumstances.
In this article, you will be able to learn everything you need to know about how serious those gun charges can be. It’s likely you’ll need to hire the best criminal defense attorney to help with your case.
Carrying Concealed Weapons
Carrying a concealed weapon is allowed if you have the appropriate permit, but it is illegal otherwise. While the first offense isn’t particularly serious, only carrying a punishment of up to six months in jail and a potential fine of up to $500. However, this is only for the first offense, with subsequent offenses becoming far more serious.
Additionally, if you use the weapon to commit another crime, the punishment becomes far more severe. There are also certain times and places that you cannot carry a gun even if you have the permit, including:
- Demonstrations or parades
- Other people’s private property without their consent
- Any place that bans firearms in general
- Places of worship unless specifically allowed to do so
- While under the influence
The penalty for carrying a weapon in such places or situations depends on the circumstances, but it will certainly be a serious charge.
Read more here about how long you stay in jail after you’ve been arrested. We think it will be helpful.
Having Weapons Where They Are Off-Limits
The penalty for having a weapon where they are forbidden carries similar penalties to having one concealed on your person without a concealed carry permit. However, the main difference between these two things is that this includes weapons that are not concealed. Guns are forbidden in some areas no matter how they are carried, such as:
Schools include anything from kindergartens to colleges, and anyone carrying a gun within 1000 feet of a school can face charges. There are some exceptions, such as guns in a vehicle, those with a concealed carry permit, law enforcement, and guns kept in dorm rooms, but it depends on the situation, and care should always be taken. In fact, when it comes to schools, the charges can go up to five years in some situations.
Bars and restaurants are included in the fact that guns are not permitted anywhere alcohol is sold to be drunk on-site. Though, there is the exception for concealed carry in restaurants, though it is not okay in bars even then. For any of these situations, the charge can be up to six months in jail and a fine.
Charges for Felons and Domestic Violence Offenders
Some people are not allowed to have a gun at all, and among those people, felons and those with domestic violence offenses are among the most strictly regulated. If you have had previous felony charges, you will want to read this carefully.
Specifically, these people cannot have a firearm:
- Those guilty of violent felonies, drug felonies, or weapon felonies
- Those guilty of committing domestic abuse or battery against a dating partner
Anyone in the above categories will face serious charges for possessing a firearm, getting anywhere from five to 20 years in jail because of it. This prohibition of firearms is something that lasts for ten years after a previous sentence.
There are stiff charges for those who ignore this and sell firearms or ammunition to people who are not allowed to have them. In fact, selling to someone who falls into those categories carries a hefty charge of up to five years in jail. Jail time cannot be avoided either.
Minors and Guns
While guns can be carried while hunting, and rifles and shotguns are allowed, minors cannot carry a handgun without being on private property or having written consent from a parent. If they ignore these laws, they can be charged and sent to jail, serving a sentence between three to six months. The severity of charges can increase due to previous gun charges or other crimes.
Using Firearms Illegally
The illegal use of firearms carries the stiffest penalties of all the different gun charges. Mere reckless use near a public gathering can result in up to 15 years in jail, and this is if nobody is harmed.
Using a gun to commit a crime, especially a violent crime, carries even harsher penalties, which are often tacked onto the charges or increase the severity of the other charges. Things like robbery and armed robbery carry two completely different meanings.
While laws are rigid, the punishment for crimes is often dependent on the situation. That being said, gun charges are always serious, with just having one in your possession capable of sending you to jail for up to six months. Hiring an excellent criminal defense attorney such as Baton Rouge‘s Carl Barkemeyer, Criminal Defense Attorney would be an excellent decision for you to ponder. So, even though carrying a weapon is permitted for most adults in Louisiana, always consider where you are carrying it. After all, you now know how serious a gun charge is in Louisiana.