On Monday, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed SB 212, a bill that removed the restrictions preventing hunters from carrying larger-caliber firearms during archery season.
Previously, bowhunters were allowed to carry certain firearms for protection, but were restricted to certain calibers, such as .22 or smaller. This severely limited the options available to hunters for self-defense, and many called for the restriction to be removed so that larger calibers could be carried as well.
“Louisiana is widely known as the Sportsman’s Paradise and that’s why we’ve continuously worked to strengthen and protect the fundamental right to bear arms for all Louisianians,” said Governor Jindal at the signing. “This proposed legislation removes unnecessary restrictions on law abiding hunters and will allow them to continue to exercise their second amendment rights while bow hunting in Louisiana.”
Effective immediately, the signing of SB 212 allows Louisiana bowhunters to carry any legal firearm while hunting, regardless of caliber. Several other states have also legalized the carry of firearms during archery season due in part to danger from predators like bears and mountain lions. While bears may not be a big threat in Louisiana, aggressive wildlife can always be dangerous to hunters armed with only a bow. According to Senator Rick Ward, who authored the bill, wild animals are only one of the potential dangers that hunters face.
“As someone who spends countless hours in the woods, and knows first hand the situations that could arise causing you to reach for a firearm that is NOT there, I was happy to author this bill and am thankful the governor signed it,” Ward wrote on Facebook.