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Judge rejects Louisiana law barring felons from owning guns

A New Orleans judge says a state law forbidding certain felons from possessing firearms is unconstitutional in light of an amendment passed last year that makes the right to bear arms a "fundamental right" in Louisiana.

District Judge Darryl Derbigny's ruling Thursday sends the issue straight to the Louisiana Supreme Court, which must decide whether the statute infringes on Louisiana citizens' now-enhanced right to gun possession.

The Times-Picayune reports the Orleans Parish public defenders' office challenged the constitutionality of the statute on behalf of a half-dozen clients, all charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

If the Supreme Court sides with Derbigny, the law will be scrapped and the Legislature forced to rewrite it.

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