Federal judge rules obscure Baton Rouge gun ordinance unconstitutional

Federal judge rules obscure Baton Rouge gun ordinance unconstitutional

A federal district court judge ruled this week that a 50-year-old Baton Rouge, La. ordinance, prohibiting the possession of firearms in any establishment that sells alcohol, infringes upon the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

The little-known and troublesome part of the ordinance is its extension to the parking lots of businesses selling alcohol–including bars, restaurants and even grocery stores, according to The Times-Picayune/NOLA.com.

The case arose when Ernest Taylor was detained by Baton Rouge police in October of 2012, for a minor traffic offense after having left a bar parking lot. Taylor informed the officers at the time that he had two rifles in the vehicle, together with the proper permits.

At that point he was placed under arrest and his weapons were confiscated.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson said in his ruling:

When [Taylor] explained to [the officers] his understanding that he was allowed to carry the guns inside of his vehicle, the officers responded that there was a ‘new law’ that made it illegal for anyone to possess a firearm in the parking lot of an establishment that sold alcohol.

According to NOLA.com:

The judge ordered the city to return Taylor’s firearms to him and to pay him monetary damages, which will later be decided in a court hearing. Jackson also permanently barred the city, police chief, city attorneys and arresting officers from enforcing the ordinance in the future.

“Defendants have created and/or maintained a policy whereby they enjoy unfettered discretion to deprive individuals of their constitutionally protected rights to keep and bear arms,” wrote Jackson, finding the ordinance unconstitutional.

The  WAFB news report of the case follows:

WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Michael Dorstewitz

Michael Dorstewitz

Michael Dorstewitz is a recovering Michigan trial lawyer and former research vessel deck officer. He has written extensively for BizPac Review.


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