Two Senate bills which are very important to lawful Hoosier gunowners were passed
by the Indiana Senate this week. Several Senators joined Senator Jim Tomes in
sponsoring Senate Bill 292 (relating to the State broadening the existing preemption
of local units of government ordinances pertaining to the 2nd Amendment) and
Senate Bill 506 which would allow the transporting a handgun without a license under
SB 506 was passed on a 43 to 7 vote on February 17. Six Democrat Senators joined
the 37 Republican Senators in voting for the bill; 7 Democrats (Breaux, Broden, Lanane,
Randolph, Rogers, Simpson, and Taylor) voted against the bill. SB 506 now goes
to the House of Representatives for action.
SB 292 passed the Senate February 14 on a 38 to 12 vote. Democrat Senators Mrvan,
Hume, Skinner, and Richard Young joined 34 Republicans in support of the bill; Three
Republicans (Gard, Wyss, and Kenley) joined 9 Democrats in opposition. Like SB 506,
SB 292 goes to the House now where it will probably be heard in early March. This is a
very good bill -- contrary to what some are suggesting, it will not prevent the Super Bowl
being played in Indianapolis and it will not allow criminals to carry firearms into courtrooms
around Indiana -- and should be strongly supported by sportsmen as it goes to the House
SB 292 addresses the patchwork of differing local ordinances across Indiana -- from
county to county and town to town. Under these local ordinances, the violation is an
infraction upon which the municipality can merely impose a monetary fine of $1 up to
$2500, but no jail time. Most of the expressed concerns by local officials are already dealt
with by existing State law, which carries with it significant fines and possible prison time. It
will bring about uniformity in laws relating to the Federal and State constitutional protection
of one of Hoosiers' inherent rights.
According to newspaper and television reports, SB 292 will be the object of intense
lobbying against the bill before the House hears the bill. These reports have identified
three sources of opposition.
One is the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns (a lobbying group which receives
taxpayer funding through the various Mayors and Councils). According to an article by
the statehouse bureau chief for CNHI's Indiana newspapers, the Association will
VEHEMENTLY oppose this pro-second amendment legislation. That is, they will be using
sportsmen's tax money to fight them.
Another is the Indianapolis Capital Improvement Board (CIB). Purported spokesmen for the
CIB have suggested such things as "the NFL will take the Super Bowl away from Indianapolis."
This proved to be a misleading assertion. The CIB operates the tax-built football stadium, the
Convention Center, Conseco fieldhouse, and Victory Field. It is suggested that if SB 292 passes,
these facilities will no longer attract any events. At the present time, the Colts and the Pacers
can restrict through the purchase of tickets any firearms (or bottles of water, Pepsi, food, etc)
from being brought in by fans. SB 292 will not change that.
The other oppostion which is featured in the local newspaper and television is Jimmy Irsay whose
Colts play in the government owned football stadium. According to the newspaper article, Jimmy
"tweets" and "twitters" to vast numbers of people, and he reportedly tweeted "...I'm against it, so
should u." Although SB 292 would not affect the Colts, the implication is there is a disdain for
Hoosiers who enjoy the sport of shooting or wish to exercise their right of self-proctection.
Law-abiding, gunowning Hoosiers who value the right to "keep and bear" should contact their
Indiana House of Representatives member and urge them to support SB 292 and SB 506.
Addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses are available on the website:
www.in.gov/legislative. Also, all the information on bill texts, committee meetings, etc. is
available at that website.