By Times Staff
One of the issues Senator Louie Bernard anticipates in the upcoming session, which begins April 12, is that of constitutional carry. In the United Sates, the term, also called permit-less carry, refers to the legal carrying of a handgun, either openly or concealed, without a license or permit. The phrase does not typically refer to the unrestricted carrying of a long gun, knife or other weapons. The phrase “constitutional carry” reflects the view that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not abide restrictions on gun rights, including the right to carry or bear arms.
“A lot of people in this room feel like if you are 18 you ought to be able to carry a concealed weapon,” he said. “But you’d be surprised by the number of people that are a little bit leery of not having any training or not requiring any permit,” he added. “You know my Second Amendment freedom comes with a little bit of responsibility, in my view,” he added. When asked where he stood on the issue, Bernard said, “I’ll tell you this, I don’t want somebody who is on a terrorist watch list to be able to walk in and tote a gun on the street nor do I want somebody who has serious, documented cases of mental disease. Because when something like that happens, everybody says why did they let him buy a gun to begin with.”
He said he believes some kind of initial check, just to blanket and say pass them out seems to be a little extreme. “I hate to say that because NRA (National Rifle Association) will say you are not for us. You‘ve got to be with NRA 100 percent. It’s like somebody said. You say you are for the Second Amendment but …. With them there are no ‘buts’ for the Second Amendment.” It’s wide open. Anybody can have a gun. “I think responsibly there are some things we can do to make it a little bit more safe,” Bernard said.