Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has an op-ed on the need to pass Amendment 2 in November. I appreciate that he broke it down to explain it to those who just assume that gun rights are “protected” without really knowing anything about the legal debates:
Simply put, this amendment to Louisiana’s Constitution acknowledges the fundamental right to keep and bear arms for legitimate purposes, and it requires any restriction on gun ownership be subject to strict scrutiny.
It’s our own Second Amendment, if you will, a new constitutional provision to repair the damage done by past judicial interpretations. You see, over the years, Louisiana courts have applied a “rational basis” legal standard to interpreting our right to bear arms. In reality, that means that the state has almost unlimited authority to confiscate, prohibit or infringe on this fundamental right. Make no mistake, I have no intention of allowing such a bill to leave my desk without a veto, but our liberties should not be held hostage to whims of future legislators and governors. By applying the “strict scrutiny” test, we elevate the protections in our constitution to the same level we provide our right to free speech.
Jindal also goes into the arguments about the federal courts being only vote away from rewriting the Second Amendment and what Congress has done to try and keep some of the assaults on gun rights that happened after Katrina from happening again, but the theme is definitely that Louisiana needs its own protection of the fundamental right just in case the whims of Congress or the federal courts change. I hope that gun owners who don’t normally follow the issue closely down there get a chance to read this piece.