I've Been Arrested...What About my Gun Rights?
It is relatively well-known that conviction of a felony or submission to probation negatively affects your gun rights, but it is a common misconception that a mere arrest for a misdemeanor does not affect your gun rights here in Louisiana. That is not exactly true. The governing law on this matter is La.R.S. 40:1379, which states that “(e)ach permittee, within fifteen days of a misdemeanor or a felony arrest, other than a minor traffic violation, in this state or any other state, shall notify the deputy secretary of public safety by certified mail. The deputy secretary may suspend, for up to ninety days, the permit of any permittee who fails to meet the notification requirements of this Section.”
A few important things regarding reporting:
1. You have a very short timeline
The deadline to provide such notice to the Department is within fifteen days of arrest. This notification process can be difficult, particularly if you are still in jail, unable to post bond. At Gilmer & Giglio, we can help you with the notification process.
2. You must notify them by certified mail
Aside from the fact that sending this notification via regular mail does not allow you to confirm receipt, sending it via regular mail also means that you are not in compliance with the statute. Correspondence related to your permit should be directed to: Louisiana State Police, Concealed Handgun Permit Unit, P.O. Box 66375, Baton Rouge, LA 70896. We cannot overstate the importance of sending this notification certified mail, return receipt requested, if you want to avoid the suspension.
3. You could get suspended, when you otherwise would not
So why would you care about reporting your arrest? Because you could get suspended for merely failing to report your arrest. This is a 90-day suspension. If you get suspended, you will get a notice from the Department telling you that you to immediately return your permit (again by Certified Mail to the address listed above). If you fail to immediately return your permit, the Department may then revoke your permit altogether.
4. You may be able to appeal such a suspension
The Louisiana Administrative Code provides for an appeal of a suspension due to failure to report an arrest (LA.A.C. 55:I:1315.B), however there are strict deadlines related to such an appeal—typically ten days.
At Gilmer & Giglio, we pride ourselves on helping our clients not only directly with their criminal matters, but also in minimizing the collateral consequences, including concealed carry permit suspensions. If you need an attorney who can help guide you through your criminal case, as well as collateral consequences, give us a call at (318) 459-9111.
Happy Constitution Day!