What’s the Relationship between the LSA and the NRA?

One of the most common questions we get is, “Does the money I donate to the LSA end up at the NRA?” The answer is easy: NO. The money you donate to the LSA through dues, donations, the purchase of merchandise, or the purchase of raffle tickets stays right here in Louisiana to protect your enumerated civil right to keep and bear arms. Period.

The LSA has been the official NRA-affiliated state association since it was incorporated in March 1966. It is recognized under IRS section 501(c)4 as a federally tax-exempt, not-for-profit Social Welfare Organization. The volunteers who run your state association exert tremendous effort in lobbying the Louisiana Legislature to ensure that they do not trample on your constitutional rights. The seeking of legislation germane to the organization’s programs is a permissible means of attaining social welfare purposes. Thus, a section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization may further its tax-exempt purposes through lobbying as its sole or primary activity without jeopardizing its exempt status. And although lobbying is not our sole or primary purpose, WE DO A LOT OF LOBBYING!

The objectives of the LSA are stated in the corporations By-Laws.

The detailed objectives of this Association include, but are not limited to the following:

(a)  The protection and defense of the inalienable constitutional right of the individual American citizen to acquire, transport, possess, carry, and transfer ownership of arms, in order that the people may exercise their right to self-preservation and defense of family, person, and property, as well as defend the nation and the individual liberty of its citizens.

(b) The promotion of marksmanship practice both as a sport and as a fundamental aspect of national defense.

(c)  The promotion of all shooting sports.

(d) The encouragement of the acceptance of marksmanship as a major competitive sport in the state’s publicly and privately endowed school systems, both secondary and collegiate.

(e)  To assist in the planning, construction, acquisition, and preservation of civilian and publicly-owned shooting ranges of all types.

(f)  To support the Civilian Marksmanship Program of the Department of Defense, and to encourage member clubs to enroll and participate in that program.

(g) The promotion of the highest degree of sportsmanship and good fellowship among the membership of the Association, and to prevent the occurrence or tolerance of unsportsmanlike conduct.

(h) The promotion of the conservation and wise use of our wildlife and other natural resources and cooperate with conservation organizations.

So, if you’ve been reticent to join the LSA because you were worried that your money would end up in Washington, DC in the pockets of the NRA, worry not! The LSA has your back right here at home in Louisiana and has since 1966!

My Shooting Journey: From a Shooting Clinic to the Junior Olympics!

By Garrett Cooper

My shooting journey started when I was thirteen years old. My dad introduced me to 4-H shooting sports, and I had no idea what it was and had not even heard of it. In the summer of 2014 my dad took me to a junior high-powered shooting clinic and the next day I shot my first high-powered competition.  After that match I continued to shoot at the monthly high-powered matches at which point the LSA loaned me shooting equipment such as a rifle and everything needed to start shooting. Much like the 4-H shooting sports, many people in the LSA were willing to give their time to help coach and improve my shooting skills which was a tremendous help considering I was a beginner and always looking for pointers.

The following year, when I was fourteen, I continued to shoot high-powered matches while shooting as a senior shooter for 4-H in air rifle. I was fortunate enough to be on the four-person team representing Louisiana in Nebraska at the 4-H National Competition. Our team finished 11th overall that year.  Since I could only go to the National Championships once in each discipline I started shooting smallbore in an effort to go again. I really focused that summer on practicing, in turn earning a spot to return to the National Championships for a second year. Our team worked for countless hours and won the National Championship in smallbore. I finished second overall as an individual at the age of fifteen.

After returning from Nebraska I started to shoot precision air rifle (60 shots standing at 10m). That year I qualified to go to the Junior Olympics, something I couldn’t have dreamt of years before. In 2017 I was fortunate enough to attend not only the Junior Olympics but USA Nationals in Fort Benning, Georgia and Winter Airgun in Colorado Springs. For the past couple of years I have been going to these three matches and continuously competing against myself and other like-minded shooters with the goal of always growing in the sport.

Besides shooting I have served the community as a 4-H Ambassador helping with smallbore rifle practices. I helped to teach beginner shooters and prepare them for their competitions, I worked with other Ambassadors to schedule competitions, put together fundraisers, and help at the NRA banquet.  I’m so grateful for the many coaches and volunteers who have spent countless hours helping me. The LSA has supported me covering many of my expenses with traveling around the country, helping me to continue to grow in shooting sports.

While attending USA shooting matches I have been blessed to meet many college coaches. It had always been a goal of mine to shoot on a NCAA D1 rifle team. This past year, after having a successful year, I was recruited by The University of Akron in Ohio, to shoot on their team. If it wasn’t for my dad, the LSA, and the many people cheering me on throughout my shooting career, I would not have had the opportunity to go to my dream school and find a sport I truly love. 

Carry Insurance: Is it Really Worth the Cost?

By Jay D. Hunt, Ph.D.

If you’re like most members of the LSA, you probably obtained your Louisiana Concealed Handgun Permit shortly after the law was changed and we became a “shall issue” state. Before our law was changed, any of us had permits issued by other states, most notably Florida. And, like most of our members, you probably walked around carrying that concealed handgun without any real consideration of what might happen if, God forbid, you ever had to use that handgun to protect your life or the lives of those around you. I know I did.

However, something changed for me recently. Someone I know (we’ll call him Bob) used his concealed handgun after a road rage incident caused another driver to stop his vehicle in front of Bob’s vehicle. The other person got out of his vehicle and smashed his fist into the hood of Bob’s truck. Bob wounded the other person with his handgun. Someone called 911, and the local police arrived…and arrested Bob. The wounded man was transported to the hospital and was arrested later. Bob has been arraigned and charged with aggravated battery and aggravated assault with a firearm and will face felony charges. The other guy was charged with disturbing the peace, criminal damage and obstruction of the public passage. Bob is retired and is not wealthy so he may be facing financial ruin and, if convicted of a felony, loss of his right to own firearms.

What kind of financial burden is associated with defending oneself from felony charges? The Death Penalty Information Center (1701 K St NW, Suite 205, Washington, DC 20006) has published the following information:

For a Non-Capital Case (no murder charges), the average cost to the defendant is $217,400.
For a Capital Case, the average cost to the defendant is $459,600.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that kind of money to toss away on defending myself from charges related to the use of my firearm!

I decided that I needed to make sure that I did not put my family in a financial crisis if I use my concealed handgun. As an officer of the LSA, I used my position to research concealed carry insurance options and negotiated a deal with US LawShield to the advantage of both our members and the LSA. I urge you to do your own research and consider the following.

ZEALOUS LEGAL REPRESENTATION:US LawShield Independent Program Attorneys will represent you in any legal proceeding–criminal or civil–should you ever need to use a firearm or other legal weapon to protect yourself, your life, or your property. Legal defense will be provided for all police investigations, pretrial proceedings, and both criminal and civil trials. There is no limit on the number of hours devoted to your defense.

24/7/365 ATTORNEY-ANSWERED EMERGENCY HOTLINE: The 24/7/365 Attorney-Answered Emergency Hotline is available exclusively to Members of US LawShield. The hotline will always be answered by a US LawShield Independent Program Attorney. Your conversations are always fully confidential. Members will receive their Member ID Card with the Emergency Hotline Number printed right on the back, so you’re always able to reach them.

NON-EMERGENCY ACCESS TO INDEPENDENT PROGRAM ATTORNEYS: For non-emergency legal questions, call the non-emergency Member Services number and they will get you connected with a local Independent Program Attorney during normal business hours.

COVERAGE OPTIONS: Even if you don’t have a state-issued handgun carry permit, their Program covers you everywhere in your membership state where you can legally possess a firearm without a license. The program also covers the use of all other legal weapons. Multi-State coverage is available as an add-on so US LawShield can protect you wherever you go.

WHAT’S NOT COVERED: While their services are extensive, the program does not cover expert witness fees, governmental fees of any type, identity theft, stolen firearms, investigator fees, or bail bonds. In Texas, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania, however, members do have the option to purchase Bail Bond and Expert Witness add-on coverage.

            If you’re interested in obtaining carry insurance, check out US LawShield. Coverage for an adult is $131.40 per year (or $10.95 per month). The cost for two adults is $240.00 per year (or $21.90 per month). If you use the code LSAGUN when you sign up, you’ll receive two months of free coverage!

Nyala with a Handgun in Mozambique

Poen Van Zyl of Zambeze Delta Safaris was standing 15 feet above me atop a vegetation-strewn termite mound surveying the abandoned garden through a well used pair of binoculars.  The local tribesmen that call the famed Coutada 11 of Mozambique home practice slash and burn farming, clearing enormous areas in the forest and then abandoning those areas after one or two years of use.  The forest was quickly reclaiming the area with vegetation, and the constant hum of tens of thousands of bees signaled that many of the plants in the area were flowering.  It was mid-July and the weather had been unseasonably cool and wet, but had turned warm and humid, typical for winter in costal Mozambique.

In addition to bees, the local antelope also visit these abandoned gardens. We were looking for an old mature bull Nyala that Poen knew frequented this particular garden.   The unmistakable trumpet of an elephant rang out and Will Fawcett and I locked eyes. In addition to being a friend, Will is a professional hunter with Numzaan Safaris in South Africa and joined me as an observer on this safari in Mozambique. The details of this adventure had been made at the 2016 Safari Club International (SCI) Convention in Las Vegas. The plan had been for Will and me to hunt in Mozambique for two weeks, then fly back from Beira, Mozambique to Johannesburg, drive down to the Freestate to pick up a couple of species I had missed on my first safari to R.S.A. in 2014, and then finish the trip with a couple of days in Limpopo.

Will and I smiled at one another nervously.  Elephants in the area could spell trouble and that elephant sounded close.  The elephants in Mozambique are survivors of several civil wars and are not particularly fond of humans.  In fact, one could say they are downright aggressive.  I imagined a scenario in which we found the old bull about the same time that the elephants ambled into the garden.  I tend to have that kind of luck.  To compound the problem, I was the only person with a firearm, and it was a revolver.  I had absolutely no interest in trying to turn an angry charge with a revolver.

Poen looked down and waved Will up.  Will labored up the termite mound and then Poen and he whispered and pointed while they formed a plan.    From the ground out of earshot, I took the planning as a good sign.  Perhaps the old bull was in the garden.  After an eternity while I watched the afternoon sun inexorably dip toward the western horizon, Will and Poen came down to my level and laid out the plan.  There were five bulls in the garden.  The closest one was immature and alone.  Several dozen yards deeper into the garden were three mature, but young bulls.  All three of them were shooters, but none of them were the “proper” bull.  The old man we were after was about 150 or so yards from us, close to the edge of the garden where it disappears into the forest.  To compound our problems, the elephants were close and would not tolerate our presence in the garden and the sun was very low in the western sky.  “Perfect,” I thought.

As quietly as possible, we began to move toward the old bull trying desperately to skirt around the younger bulls as not to alert the old bull to our presence.  Luckily, baboons frequent these gardens as well, and the noise that stalking hunters make pales in comparison to the noise a troop of hungry baboons can produce.  Despite our best efforts, the immature bull spotted us and sounded the alarm.  The older group of three bulls began to move away from our location and, unfortunately, we had lost sight of the oldest bull as we began the stalk.  With faith as our only indication that the old bull was still in the area, we stuck to our plan and moved forward.  Suddenly, Poen’s tracker, Gotchi (pronounced goat-chee and meaning piglet in Zulu) froze.  Through years of hunting as a pair, Gotchi and Poen communicated with no words exchanged.  Gotchi set up my shooting sticks and Poen slid to a position just to the right of them.

“Can you see him?”

“No.  How far?”

Poen’s tone was urgent.  “He’s right there.  No more than 70-80 yards.”  The big old bull turned his head and the motion caught my eye.  His old gray coat blended in perfectly with the surroundings.

“Got him.”  I put the Freedom Arms Model 83 chambered in .454 Casull onto the cradle in the shooting sticks and looked through the scope.  I had set the scope on it’s lowest power knowing through hard experience that spot and stalk hunting with a pistol is nigh on impossible with anything but the lowest power settings. I kept both eyes open and looked past the scope at the bull, aligning the pistol with him as to have any chance of seeing him through the scope.  The crosshairs settled on his left shoulder, but he was facing away and the angle was severe.  This was not a good shot and certainly not one I was going to take.

“Do you have a clear shot?”

“Not yet.”

“Okay.  Don’t rush it.  He’ll turn if you give him a chance.”

Time ticked by as the sun marched further to the west.  I kept the pistol aimed at the bull but kept both eyes open as not to get eye strain waiting on him to turn.  Clearly, he was not concerned by the closeness of the elephants or the setting sun.  Neither was he concerned about the long walk we would have through the forest to get to the clearing where we had left Poen’s truck an hour before.

Finally, the old bull turned presenting me with an excellent slightly angled shot on his left shoulder.  I cocked the single action pistol, aligned the crosshairs, settled my breath, and began to squeeze the trigger.  The recoil from the .454 Casull is substantial, and one can easily jerk the trigger in anticipation of the crushing recoil that follows the shot.  The only cure for this is practice, and a lot of it.  The revolver roared to life and I heard the unmistakable smack of the Hornady 300 grain XTP-MAG as it connected.  He trotted a few yards away, and I was able to put a second shot into his right shoulder.  After receiving the second shot, he tried to escape to the relative safety of the invading forest, but fortunately, did not make it.

As we were taking the photos of this magnificent trophy, I heard a strange noise from the edge of the garden.  “What was that?”

Poen looked up from the camera.  “That is the rumbling of an elephant’s stomach!”

He measured 74 1/8” and ranked number 6 with a handgun in the SCI Record Book.  To say I had amazing success in Mozambique would be a vast understatement. In Coutada 11, I harvested seven SCI Top-10 species with handguns (Common Nyala, number 6; Lichtenstein Hartebeest, number 7; Chobe Bushbuck, number 7; Natal Red Duiker, number 6; and Blue Duiker, number 5, as well as the new potential number 18 overall Livingstone Suni, which should rank number 5 with a handgun when certified by a SCI master measurer.