SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — Crimes such as catalytic converter thefts and carjackings have garnered widespread attention across the state. The Louisiana Legislature has addressed this issue with new or expanded laws that will go into effect August 1.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed 776 laws into law at the end of the 2022 legislative session.
Catalytic converter thefts have increased nationwide since the pandemic. The Shreveport-Bossier area has seen its fair share in 2022. Theft of the highly profitable auto part has increased so much that law enforcement and lawmakers have had to take action.
Bill 127 makes the theft of a catalytic converter a crime in itself. In addition to making such thefts a specific crime, the law also requires catalytic converters to have a registration number to track sales and transfers.
Carjacking, another crime on the rise in this area, would have increased penalties when committed with a gun or other dangerous weapon.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry launched an initiative earlier this summer informing victims of domestic violence about the protections and resources available through the AG’s office. Landry secured a legislative victory with the signing of Bill 75, which increases the penalty for anyone who violates a protective order while in possession of a firearm.
The legislator has reclassified the crime of criminal possession of a firearm as a crime of violence. This would apply to people who have already been convicted of a violent crime.
The safety of hospital emergency room personnel and other healthcare professionals is increasingly a hot topic. Law 127 provides for enhanced penalties, including fines and imprisonment, for anyone charged with assault and battery in the health facility.
The session addressed hate crimes by adding threatening (terrorizing) as a crime with adding threatening (terrorizing) as a crime. Threatening acts include (but are not limited to) imminent or ongoing threats of violence, sustained fear for public safety, and a threat that results in the evacuation of a building.
They expanded the definition of larceny to include taking property from another without a weapon. It also includes when three or more people take large quantities of goods from retailers or other business entities.
- Law 75 – Improves penalties for violating a protection order when committed while in possession of a firearm.
- Law 465 – Designates the crime of possession of a firearm by a criminal as a crime of violence.
- Act 127 – Creates the crime of theft of a catalytic converter or engine control module and provides for dealer registration.
- Bill 129 – Improves penalties for those charged with battery of emergency room personnel, emergency services personnel and medical professionals.
- Law 131 – Increases the penalty for the crime of carjacking when committed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon.
- Law 493 – Creates the crime of threat versus hate crimes.
- Law 731 – Amends the definition of simple robbery.