INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has signed House Bill 1296 into law which repeals the law that requires a person to obtain a license to carry a handgun in Indiana. The governor also vetoed a bill that would have barred transgender girls from playing girls’ sports.
The law will go into effect on July 1, 2022.
Indiana Second Amendment activists have been working hard to pass a Constitutional Carry bill. This year, they overcame several hurdles put in place by Republicans hostile to the bill. The bill was eventually passed by the legislature, using parliamentary procedures to bypass a hostile committee chief.
The bill passed with substantial majorities in the House and the Senate. In the House, the vote was 68 to 30. In the Senate, the vote was 30 to 20.
Police opinion on the bill was divided. Governor Holcomb’s appointed State Police Chief testified against the bill, alienating many when he said everyone needed to be proved innocent.
It was rumored Governor Holcomb had worked to have the bill killed in the legislature, so he would not have to face the decision to sign or veto the bill or allow it to become law without his signature.
With strong support for the bill in both the House and the Senate, a veto by Governor Holcomb would be difficult to sustain. Indiana’s Constitution makes overriding a veto easy. Only a majority of each house is needed, and the veto may be overridden in the next legislative session.
Governor Holcomb waited to sign the bill until the day before it would go into effect without his signature.
Lobbying was heavy for and against the bill. At Indianagunowners.org, it was repeatedly reported the phone lines to comment on the bill to the governor were busy and referred to voice mail.
Indiana’s law to restore the right to bear arms without applying to the government for permission makes the state the 24th state with Constitutional Carry, (permitless carry). Those members of the Constitutional Carry club are now:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Both Georgia and Nebraska are in the running for the next state to restore Constitutional Carry. It is difficult to know which might sign a law into effect first.
With Alabama, Ohio, and now Indiana joining the Constitutional Carry club this year, about 62% of the land area of the United States of America is controlled by jurisdictions that have Constitutional or Permitless carry.
A wave of Constitutional Carry legislation has been sweeping the country. It is likely half the states will have restored Constitutional Carry by the time the Supreme Court writes the decision in the New York Rifle & Pistol Association (NYR&PA) v Bruen case. The case is about the right to bear arms outside the home. A decision on the case is expected to be rendered at the end of the current court session in June of 2022.
Supreme Court justices read the news. They probably have a continuous, active search for news articles about current issues.
Several states restoring Constitutional Carry may help the justices in their decision-making process on the Second Amendment case.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.