Metal Detectors At Movie Theaters: The New Lawmaker Push

metal detectors at movie theaters

A Louisiana lawmaker has told media that she feels Louisiana can now do more in regards to their “lax” gun control laws: and that will include metal detectors at movie theaters.

According to BuzzFeed [1]:

One day after the deadly shooting at The Grand 16 theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, state Rep. Barbara Norton told BuzzFeed News that she is working to draft a bill that would put metal detectors in movie theaters around the state to detect anyone “that might be coming in to do harm.”

“We can no longer sit back and think that everything is going to take care of itself,” said Norton, a Democrat representing the district for nearby Shreveport and a member of the state’s administrative committee on criminal justice.

“That’s a good measure,” said Rep. Henry Burns, who said that security in gun free zones like the movie theater need to be scrutinized.

On Thursday, John Russell Houser, 59, stood up during a screening of “Trainwreck” and opened fire on the crowd – killing two people and injuring nine more, authorities said.

Houser then tried to blend in with the fleeing theatergoers, but turned back when he saw police officials rushing inside and fatally shot himself.

Following the tragedy, BuzzFeed News reached out to the state legislature, which has passed a number of pro-gun pieces of legislation in recent years, and asked them if the shooting should prompt any changes or repeals of the firearms laws in the state [2].

“This incident was an isolated situation being that the perpetrator was an out-of-state transient, personally motivated to commit such a horrible crime,” Senator Troy Brown said in an email.

“We as a Legislative body will be looking to implement legislation to proactively protect the general public from such violence, especially in places we deem should always be safe from harm. A movie theatre today, yet it could be a church or synagogue next time,” Brown added.

Norton said that she would like to see some of the state’s gun laws repealed — including House Bill 1272, which allows people to carry guns in church.

“The law says you’re supposed to get your pastor’s permission,” Norton said. “How many people do you know that are going in to kill someone that will stop long enough to get permission?”

She added that she believes the law permitting guns in restaurants needs to be reconsidered, too.

On the matter of churches, however, Burns, contests that “you cannot stop a gunman by just throwing your song book at them.”

Burns, the architect of the bill allowing concealed carry in places of worship, insists that the law doesn’t permit all parishioners to carry guns in church.

“It’s not everybody just bringing a gun, you have to be part of the security team, you have to be certified,” Burns said.

He adds that the bill is far too popular in the state and repeal is “never going to happen.”

Most of the state legislators that BuzzFeed News reached out to did not respond, and some balked at the suggestion that it was the appropriate time to discuss the state’s gun laws.

“At this moment I am far more concerned about the victims and their families. They and the communities of the Lafayette area have my thoughts and prayers,” said Rep. Richard Buford.

“It is a time to pray for the victims, their families, the Acadiana area, and our state in order to lift them up after this terrible tragedy,” said Rep. Blake Miguez’s office in an email, stating that the representative will not immediately be releasing a statement regarding Louisiana’s gun laws.

However, Norton said talks of a special legislative session to discuss the issues are already happening.

“We are in the process of seeing what we can do,” she said.

The next session is not scheduled to begin until April 2016.

“I’m not against guns. In fact, I have a gun. I don’t really use it,” Norton said. “We need better policies around guns.




Royce Christyn
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