Debunking Another Right Wing Talking Point: Is the Lafayette Movie Theater Really an Official “Gun-Free Zone?”
OK, let’s dissect another ubiquitous right wing claim about the Lafayette theater shootings, shall we?
If you go to any right wing site right now, you’ll see them all ranting in unison about the theater being a “gun-free zone,” and babbling about how much safer everyone would have been if they all had loaded weapons.
Leaving aside the insanity of the latter claim for now, let’s take a close look at the idea that this theater was an official “gun-free zone.”
Is there actually a law in Louisiana that mandates movie theaters should be “gun-free zones?”
Well, no. From the Louisiana State Police site (h/t lawhawk):
R.S. 40:1379.3 (N) states that no concealed handgun may be carried into and no concealed handgun permit issued pursuant to this Section shall authorize or entitle a permittee to carry a concealed handgun in any of the following:
A law enforcement office, station, or building;
A detention facility, prison, or jail;
A courthouse or courtroom, provided that a judge may carry such a weapon in his own courtroom;
A polling place;
A meeting place of the governing authority of a political subdivision;
The state capitol building;
Any portion of an airport facility where the carrying of firearms is prohibited under federal law, except that no person shall be prohibited from carrying any legal firearm into the terminal, if the firearm is encased for shipment, for the purpose of checking such firearm as lawful baggage;
Any church, synagogue, mosque or similar place of worship; See RS 40:1379.3 (U)
A parade or demonstration for which a permit is issued by a governmental entity;
Any portion of the permitted area of an establishment that has been granted a Class A-General retail permit, as defined in Part II of Chapter 1 or Part II of Chapter 2 of Title 26 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises.
Any school “firearm free zone” as defined in R.S. 14:95.6.
Do you see movie theaters in that list? No, you don’t. So where are the right wing media sites and blogs getting this talking point?
It’s not a law. It’s the Grand Theaters’ policy:
OUR THEATRE PROHIBITS
• Outside food or drink
• Smoking including e-cigarettes
• Possession of firearms or weapons of any kind regardless of whether openly or concealed, with or without a permit
So conservatives now want to dictate to private companies how they can run their businesses, including demanding the “right” to carry loaded weapons into movie theaters. Such lovely people.