Indiana --(Ammoland.com)- This session of the Indiana General Assembly produced another leap forward for gun owners.
SB 229, which was authored by Sens. Jim Tomes, Brent Steele and Johnny Nugent and eleven co-authors passed both the Senate and House Thursday night.
Initially, the bill when it left the Senate was addressing the gun buyback programs that occur in Indiana. It also contained language on how law enforcement agencies could sell confiscated guns back to the genreal public back. SB 229 passed the Senate on a 28 to 21 vote. However, when it went to the House in underwent many changes.
There was a House bill, HB 1048, authored by Rep. Lucas concerning firearms on school property. The purpose of that language was to change current law that makes it a felony to leave a gun in a car on school property. In Indiana a person who can legally own a firearm can enter on school property to pick up or leave off a passenger, but they cannot get out of that car, even if they leave the gun locked in the vehicle without being charged with a felony.
Though the bill did not get a vote on its own, it was amended into SB 229 in a House committee. During the amending process in the House, most of the original language of SB 229 was removed and replaced with wording that would have accomplished just the opposite of the intent. So the bill came back to the Senate with unfavorable language and also the language concerning firearms on school property.
Since SB 229 was my bill I was handed the decision on either concurring or dissenting. There was no doubt that allowing individuals who can legally posses firearms to be able to leave a gun in their car, locked and out of plain view on school parking lots without the fear of being charged with a felony is a good measure. It was still disturbing that the House chose to use SB 229 as a means instead of voting on HB 1048 on a standalone vote.
Without going into the details of all the work that was done in the Senate with amendments, meetings with LSA attorneys and last minute conference meetings to remove the unwanted language and make a few corrections on the school parking lot portion, I presented the bill on the Senate floor about 9:30 in the evening on the last night of session. The bill passed with a 38 to 10 bipartisan vote and 75 to 25 bipartisan vote in the House moments later. It is now headed for the Governor’s desk for signature.
This year Indiana is going to lose some very strong second amendment senators who will be retiring. First and foremost is Senator Johnny Nugent. Sen. Nugent has been the go to gun in the Indian senate for many years and has passed numerous pro gun laws including the Lifetime Handgun license. Johnny is also a board member of the NRA. Along with Sen. Nugent are Sens. Allen Paul and Sue Lansing. These individuals will be difficult to replace.
Keep in mind also that another rock solid senator, John Waterman, has a primary opponent in his race this May. We cannot afford to lose Sen. Waterman who has vigorously defended gun rights in Indiana. I urge you to contact Sen. Waterman and offer to help. I don’t have any contact information on John, but he is on facebook.
I might mention that I too am up for reelection this year. I would appreciate any support. http://www.jimtomes.com/
Don’t forget our next 2nd Amendment Patriot meeting will be March 29th at 6 PM and we’re planning on having master gun maker, Marvin Kemper, who will speak and exhibit the long rifle he has built for the NRA convention in Indianapolis next month.Jim and Margie Tomes
The Second Amendment Patriots are a local group of Indiana citizens dedicated to preserving the rights, freedoms, and civil liberties of every American by educating the American public of the founding and history of this country and its founding fathers by explaining the role, functions and purpose of the U.S. Government; and by teaching the need and importance of an armed American public, in order to allow for a more prosperous and respectful country consisting of American citizens with a pledge of allegiance to their country and who will at the same time, voice their demand to take back the present overwhelming power of the U.S. Government and deliver it into the hands of the people to which it belongs. Visit: www.2ndamendmentpatriots.org