Bill Dowden, Legislative Director
After eight years of anti-2nd Amendment ideology in Washington, the 2016
election brought great news to law abiding gun owners across America.
Both Donald Trump and Mike Pence campaigned as strong supporters of
an individual right to keep and bear arms. Hoosier sportsmen were well
aware of Governor Pence’s commitment to that right as well as his personal
enjoyment of the shooting sports.
Here in Indiana, sportsmen also saw a state administration elected that
continues the legacy of hunting, fishing and the shooting sports. Hoosiers
elected Lt. Governor Holcomb to succeed Governor Pence. Governor
Holcomb and his wife, the First Lady of Indiana, are just as committed to
the individual right to keep and bear arms as now Vice-President Pence.
Hoosiers also elected/reelected strong supporters of the 2nd Amendment to
our General Assembly. All 100 seats in the House of Representatives were
on the ballot. Of the 70 Republicans and 30 Democrats elected, 68 were
given “A” ratings by the National Rifle Association. Twenty-five of the
Senate seats were up for election. Of the 19 Republicans and 6 Democrats
elected, 19 were given “A” ratings by the NRA.
The General Assembly is now in session with an adjournment date of April 29.
The website www.iga.in.gov provides access to most of the information you
would want: session and committee dates; legislators names by alphabet and
district numbers; bills introduced by number, legislator, or subject; action
and status of all the bills, etc.
Of the bills proposed in the Senate and House, there are several of particular
interest to gun owners. In the Senate, SB78 introduced by Senator Jack
Sandlin from Indianapolis would provide that a person attending a worship
service using a school facility would not be prohibited from lawfully carrying
a firearm. Senator Jim Tomes’ SB 14 would allow staff members of the
Legislature to carry lawfully possessed firearms into the Statehouse. Also,
Senator Tomes’ SB 43 would allow guards at state penal facilities to have
firearms locked in their vehicles in the parking lot while on duty.
In the House, Representative Jim Lucas is the author of HB 1159, which is
generally referred to as “constitutional carry.” In the past few years several
states have passed such a law, basically saying the state government should
not require a citizen who lawfully possesses a handgun to get permission
to carry in his home state. A person would still have to obtain an Indiana
license to carry when going to a state with which Indiana has license
reciprocity. Mr. Lucas is also the author of HB 1258, which would prohibit
a regional campus of a state educational institution from imposing a rule or
policy that prohibits or limits the legal carrying, possession, or transportation of
of a firearm while on land or in a building at the state educational institution.
The full text, authors and sponsors, actions, and hearings of these mentioned
bills, as well as all other bills, can be accessed at the www.iga.in.gov website.
Remember that there are many anti-gun groups who do not agree with the
Founders of our Nation and our State that your right to keep and bear arms
without infringement does not come from government – it is an inherent
individual right as a free citizen of a free land. Let your State Senator and
State Representative know that you appreciate their standing up for the