Jindal wrong about law he says would have stopped Houser from buying gun

Screenshot 2015-07-26 16.55.47

By Robert Mann

Gov. Bobby Jindal said in an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday that if Lafayette theater shooter John Russell Houser had been involuntarily committed in Louisiana, that information would have been “automatically reported” to the national background check system and he would not have allowed to purchase a gun.

Jindal’s statement is not true. Louisiana law does not require private gun sellers (including those selling firearms at gun shows) to perform a background check before selling a handgun.

In his interview, Jindal told host John Dickerson:

Here in Louisiana, we actually passed tougher laws a couple of years ago, so that, for example, if Houser had been involuntarily committed here in Louisiana, that information would automatically — we would have reported that to the national background check system. He shouldn’t, he wouldn’t have been able to buy a gun; he wouldn’t have been able to go into that pawnshop and buy that gun, as he did in another state. Look, every time this happens, it seems like the person has a history of mental illness. We need to make sure the systems we have in place actually work.

Like I said, in Louisiana, we toughened our laws a couple of years ago. If he had been involuntarily committed here, if he had tried to buy that gun here, he wouldn’t have been allowed to do that.

Jindal is correct that Louisiana did pass such a law, House Bill 717, in 2013. The problem is that this law contains a massive loophole — the private-gun-sale exemption. The law certainly makes it a crime for someone like Houser to own the gun. But it would not have stopped him from buying a weapon at a gun show or from another private seller because there is no background check required in such cases.

Jindal is also wrong about gun sales being automatically reported to the federal gun database. Private gun sales are not covered by this law.

Here’s what the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence says about Louisiana law on gun sales and background checks:

Federal law requires federally licensed firearms dealers (but not private sellers) [emphasis added] to initiate a background check on the purchaser prior to sale of a firearm. Federal law provides states with the option of serving as a state “point of contact” and conducting their own background checks using state, as well as federal, records and databases, or having the checks performed by the FBI using only the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database. (Note that state files are not always included in the federal database.)

Louisiana does not require private sellers (sellers who are not licensed dealers) to initiate a background check when transferring a firearm. [Emphasis added]

Until Louisiana or the federal government requires background checks for all gun sales, anyone like Houser can easily bypass the background check in Louisiana by purchasing a pistol at a gun show or from any other private seller.

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5 Responses to Jindal wrong about law he says would have stopped Houser from buying gun

  1. Mike says:

    So, will JINDAL be outed on this by someone?

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  2. K says:

    Check out this story: http://www.redstate.com/2015/07/24/robert-manns-rtmannjr-bizarre-shameful-attack-governor-bobby-jindal/

    Very strange that Mr. Jindal has cut mental health tremendously, he continues to tell his lies, it is just sickening. He cuts mental health and wonders why mentally ill people roam the streets. He lies about his “gun control”, but is bestest buds with the craziest, most stupidest duck people; Jindal is a total fake and thrives on welfare, yet cuts welfare. He is a rich welfare queen. Pitiful. Pitiful for this state and pitiful for anyone who thinks he is our “saving grace”.

    Can’t wait for a major change in this state. The pendulum will swing………….Wish we weren’t so damn red. I wish the sheeple would get wise to this wolf in sheep’s clothing. I can only pray for this man…

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  3. OneStateWorker says:

    This is a very good post, but I have an addition and a clarification:

    Houser’s involuntarily commitment was in 2008 The LA law was passed in 2013, long after Houser’s involuntarily commitment. I believe Louisiana used to be one of several states that reported very little to the federal NICS database. If my information is accurate, Houser still would have been able to buy the gun if he had been involuntarily committed here in 2008.

    To clarify, according to an internet source, pawn shops have to have a federal firearms dealer license because of the volume of guns bought and sold and therfore have to run background checks.

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  4. Aliz says:

    I am a former mental health center manager. Twice, I remember contacts from the state police inquiring about patients requesting gun permits. Twice, in twenty plus years. I’m unaware of the process of reporting involuntary commitments to the Feds. Maybe it happens at the State Hospitals. Oh, right, we don’t have any of them anymore.

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  5. Martha Weston says:

    Just another one of Jindal’s angles and how he can spin the situation to what he wants it to look like to the national media. Jindal is such a liar and hypocrite! If he had not demolished the mental health system in Louisiana then maybe this man might have gotten the mental health treatment he needed thus long term maybe he would not have needed to buy a gun. I never voted for him and I sincerely hope that the state of Louisiana does not elect David Vitter as governor. It will just be more of the same from Vitter.

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