U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Indiana has become the 24th state to adopt so-called “constitutional carry” legislation, as Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed legislation eliminating the need for a license to carry a handgun, eliciting anguish from the gun prohibition lobby.
According to WXIN News in Indianapolis, the state chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action—both subsidiaries of anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety—issued a statement via Cathy Weinmann, a volunteer with the Indiana Moms chapter.
“By signing this bill into law, Governor Holcomb has made it clear that he would rather stand with the gun lobby than support and protect the law enforcement leaders who put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities,” she said. “Permitless carry will put Hoosiers in danger, and our communities will bear the toll of Governor Holcomb’s choice to ignore law enforcement’s opposition to this bill. We cannot let this attack on public safety go unanswered and must hold our leaders accountable at the ballot box.”
Weinmann’s statement conveniently ignores the fact that criminals have been carrying guns without permits for decades.
Indiana is the third state in recent days to adopt permitless carry, joining Ohio and Alabama. Florida’s effort to adopt constitutional carry came up short again, leaving many rights activists in the Sunshine State furious.
According to the Indianapolis Star, the new law takes effect in July.
Holcomb issued the following statement: “The Second Amendment has been debated for years, yet time and again our U.S. Supreme Court has reaffirmed this important constitutional right that I fully support. Twenty-three other states have laws comparable to HEA 1296. Vermont has had a constitutional carry law in place since it became a state, and several other states have had a similar law for more than a decade. HEA 1296, which I’ve signed today, entrusts Hoosiers who can lawfully carry a handgun to responsibly do so within our State. It’s important to note that if a person is prohibited, under federal or state laws, from possessing a firearm before this law goes into effect, that person will still be prohibited. And if a prohibited person has a firearm, he or she can be prosecuted. Firearm permits will remain available, without fee, to anyone who wants or needs one, such as Hoosiers desiring to carry a firearm to, through or in another state that has reciprocity with Indiana.”
Indiana State Police Supt. Doug Carter noted in an accompanying statement, “We will continue to encourage citizens to apply for, and maintain, a firearms permit. A permit will assist law enforcement officers and will also allow a permit holder reciprocity with other states.”
The legislation was passed by the House 69-30 and by the state Senate 30-20 on the last day of this year’s session, the Star reported.
Newspaper editorials have opposed the measure, and even the Chicago Tribune weighed in, promoting a recent call by Congresswoman Marie Newman for the adoption of a federal law requiring so-called “universal background checks.” The newspaper called it “a common-sense proposal we’ve long supported.” The editorial also provided hotlinks to several Indiana newspapers, specifically the South Bend Tribune, Kokomo Tribune, the Journal-Gazette of Fort Wayne, asserting they also editorialized in opposition.
However, Ammoland checked the links. Only the South Bend newspaper link was to an editorial regarding HEA 1296. At the Kokomo Tribune, the editorial was about a different piece of legislation relating to bail reform, and the Journal-Gazette link was to a news report about Holcomb signing constitutional carry while vetoing a bill about transgender sports.
Ironically, the Tribune Editorial Board adds a postscript in which it claims the board “advocates for the equality of the individual, for personal responsibility, for a limited government role in the lives of the governed.”
The legislation was opposed by the Indiana State Fraternal Order of Police, the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council, according to the Times of Northwest Indiana. They contended that because “approximately 14% of Indiana handgun permit applicants last year were denied a permit because of a prior criminal conviction, lying on the application, a history of mental illness, or another disqualifying factor” so permitless carry would essentially allow such individuals to be carrying guns in public.
As with each expansion of Second Amendment rights, opponents react as though the world has just ended. Only time will tell for sure if treating a right as a right, rather than a government-regulated privilege, will result in more crime, or improved public safety.
About Dave Workman