February 7, 2023

Indiana Dealing With Gun Issues

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The Indiana House of Representatives is dealing with gun law issues and this week, the Senate may take up discussion as well.

One issue essentially clears up a law that has already been upheld by the courts. This bill, House Bill 1028, is what is now left of a stripped down version. More on that later. What this bill does is clarify to the homeowner that they don’t need to run the other way if their home has been broken into. A previous law led some to believe that a property owner had to first run away before they could protect themselves or others in their home. This bill allows a homeowner to use force when it is determined to be reasonable cause.

The complete bill HB 1028 included a portion that would have prohibited businesses from stopping employees from having guns in their cars on company property. Currently, some businesses in Indiana prohibit their employees from having a gun anywhere in their car while it is on business land. This bill would have stopped that process. This portion of the bill was stripped from the bill for fear the deadly force issue would get lost in the discussion.
There are other states now dealing with this same issue, Florida being one of them. Just last week, the House tabled a similar bill that was being debated furiously and out of fear of a vote coming before it was ready, sponsors of the bill put it on the back burner.

The gun issue in these states dealing with businesses and personal properties, like automobiles, is really more of a personal property issue than a gun issue in my opinion. Although opponents of the Indiana bill say they fear a disgruntled employee going to their car and pulling out a gun and going postal, is the issue.

Proponents say their right to have whatever they want in their cars is being violated. This is one issue that will not go away anytime soon. This problem arose a while back in Oklahoma when a business told employees they couldn’t have guns in their cars on company property. The owner one day did a sweep of his parking lot and fired anyone who had a gun in their car. That case landed in court and the Oklahoma Legislature got involved and passed a law saying that businesses could not dictate what was in someone’s car. This gave pro-gun groups like the NRA an opening and they have been pushing this issue nationwide.

The third issue in Indiana is called the lifetime weapons permit. Currently anyone wishing to obtain a concealed weapons permit, goes through the normal processes and after paying fees and passing background checks, they are issued a permit good for four years. At the end of four years, they must go through the permitting system again.

Under provisions of the new bill, once a permit holder receives his or her permit and remains in good legal standing, they can keep their permit for life. Fees for licensing would increase and those who want to convert their permit to lifetime would pay an increase as well.

Tom Remington