|Legislative Report 3rd Quarter 2012|
|Written by Bill Dowden, Legislative Director|
|Wednesday, 29 August 2012 09:19|
The year 2012 may very well be one of the most critical year gun owners in Indiana and throughout America have faced. In addition to the threat of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty and an administration in Washington that has not hidden its desire to enact legislation that would violate a citizen's right to keep and bear arms, Hoosiers may have to defend again their right to self-defense when faced with the threat of bodily harm to themselves or others.
In response to the opinion of a majority on the Indiana Supreme Court saying that a citizen of Indiana does not have the right to defend his home against an illegal entry by a policeman, the General Assembly passed and the Governor signed Senate Bill 1 which affirms the right of a citizen to use reasonable force to resist. This is consistent with the intention of the Castle Doctrine already in place in Indiana. Contrary to some of the opponents, this act does not authorize, encourage, or support in any way a citizen to forcibly resist a policeman who is performing his lawful duty. Senate Bill 1 actually spells out more protection for a policeman than before.
Typical of the way the anti-2nd Amendment crowd plays on semantics and emotions, the Brady/Helmke/Bloomberg groups are using Trayvon Martin's death as the basis for attacking the Castle Doctrine. Their coalition, using the name "Second Chance - A National Campaign to Reform 'Shoot First' Laws," has written to state legislators around the country to urge them to reconsider their votes on the Castle Doctrine. They know that no state legislature has passed a "shoot first, ask questions later" law, but the truth never stands in their way.
At the national level, it is clear that the Obama administration intends to seek further attacks upon the 2nd Amendment if Obama is reelected in November. In addition, the President and Secretary of State Clinton both have voiced their support of the infamous "United Nations Arms Trade Treaty," which, if signed by the President and consented to by our Senate, would trample on the American right to keep and bear arms. Thankfully, fifty-eight Senators - Republican and Democrat - have signed a letter to the President stating their opposition to this treaty Also, Representative Ben Quayle (AZ) and Senator Jerry Moran (MT)have introduced the Second Amendment Sovereignty Act of 2012 (House 5846 Senate 2205) which opposes giving the United Nations power over our Bill of Rights.
The National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act (HR 822) which passed the House last November by a vote of 272 to 154 is still pending in the Senate. Although the anti-gun legislators and the media portray this as being a danger to public safety, twenty-two State Attorneys General (including DeWine of Ohio, Conway of Kentucky and Schuette of Michigan) signed a letter in April thanking Representatives Stearns and Shuler for sponsoring this legislation and urging the Senate to pass the bill.
As witnessed by the nomination of Richard Mourdock (endorsed by the NRA) to replace longtime-Senator Dick Lugar (a consistent F rating from the NRA), gun owners in Indiana can have a significant effect on determining who will represent them in the Statehouse and in the U.S. Capitol. It is incumbent upon all lawful gun owning Hoosiers to support candidates at the local, state, and federal level who "walk the talk" of defending the 2nd Amendment.
We should never forget that "Freedom is not free." Members of the Indiana State Rifle and Pistol Association and the National Rifle Association, along with thousands of other lawful gun owners in Indiana, are responsible for preserving the "right to keep and bear" for our children and grandchildren.