Could 2017 be the year that Indiana does away with permitting requirements for carrying handguns? Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) thinks so. "I want to decriminalize our constitutional right to bear arms," he said. "Our right to self-defense shouldn’t be controversial."
Lucas has an ally in the newly named chairman of the Indiana House Public Policy Committee. Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) is a strong pro-gun advocate and has been instrumental in helping to pass gun rights legislation in the state.
When asked about constitutional carry, Smaltz replied: "The Indiana Constitution is very clear about a person being able to possess firearms. I think in the past I’ve just looked at it from a constitutional basis. But as a chairman, I’m looking at it with new eyes."
Indiana isn’t alone in its push to remove handgun licensing requirements. Last year, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri and West Virginia all passed permitless carry laws. "I think the planets are aligned this year," said Lucas.
Ohio State Attack Spurs Campus Carry Consideration
House Bill 48 would relax laws barring permitted concealed carry on campus; it would also leave final campus carry decisions to each school’s board of trustees. Sponsored by Rep. Ron Maag, it passed the House 68-29, and was scheduled for consideration by the Senate this week.
The Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence’s Toby Hoover repeated unwarranted fears: “If five people in that same building were armed, when plain-clothed people drew guns, how would you know who the good guys were? It would be chaos. These people are not police. They don’t know how to make decisions, and they don’t know each other.”
In Illinois, an important piece of pro-gun legislation is on the move—but we need your help to ensure it makes it all the way to the governor’s desk.
Senate Bill 206, which would legalize the possession and use of suppressors, was approved by a 7-5 vote in the Senate Judiciary committee on Tuesday, and came from the House with significant bipartisan support. However, the bill will need to clear the Democrat-controlled Senate with a two-thirds vote—so Illinois gun owners must make their voices heard.
USE YOUR POWER!
Because this bill could be brought for a vote on the Senate floor at any time, it’s imperative you contact your senator now. Explain that because suppressor use helps guard against hearing loss, helps improve accuracy and reduces noise complaints from nearby residential areas, Illinois residents deserve the option of using suppressors. Call your state senator and urge them to support Senate Bill 206—a full list of phone numbers can be found here.
Texas Court Joins County Government On Ever-Widening Gun Ban
An expanded gun-free zone in a county near Houston is under fire from the Texas attorney general, as well as groups including Texas Carry. Currently, state law allows bans on firearms in courts and court offices in Waller County. However, a district court judge upheld a ban covering non-judicial offices in the same building, which sparked the controversy.
The Houston Chronicle reports that Judge Albert McCaig Jr. is preserving the ban, concluding the law “prohibits all firearms and other weapons in the entire government building that houses a court.”
McCaig’s decision keeps the ban in place for now, pending arguments in upcoming legislative sessions. However, Terry Holcomb, executive director of Texas Carry, is arranging an appeal. “If the tyrants in Waller County think they have prevailed, they are sadly mistaken,” said Holcomb, adding “If they want to behave like thugs, then we will certainly treat them as such and get legislation passed to penalize such behavior.”
Gun Theft Doubles In Australia, So Antis Push More Laws
Gun Control Australia, that country’s largest anti-gun lobbying group, claims that firearm thefts have nearly doubled in the island nation since 2009. In an effort to control that lawlessness, the group is calling for more new laws, the Sydney Morning Heraldreports.
Between 2013 and 2015, some 6,451 firearms were stolen in Australia, according to the anti-gun group, which made freedom of information requests for statistics from each Australian state. The Australian Institute of Criminology estimated that in 2009, the number of firearms stolen was about 1,700—a figure that rose to over 3,000 in 2015.
Not surprisingly, the gun-ban group used those statistics to call for more anti-gun laws, including mandatory security systems for the already-mandatory gun safes, and limiting the number of firearms that any individual may lawfully own to three.
Florida Homeowner Shoots Attempted Home Invader
A North Miami-Dade homeowner was at home with his wife and two young sons early Tuesday morning when the family was awakened by a man pounding on the door and attempting to gain entry, the Miami Heraldreports. The resident, Warren Cespedes, grabbed a firearm and warned the attempted intruder—and when that failed to stop the man, Cespedes fired.
“The subject arrived in a vehicle and began forcing his way into the residence when he was shot by the homeowner,” Miami-Dade police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said.
Just a day earlier, three men broke into a home near North Miami Beach. In that case, an armed homeowner shot one of the home invaders, killing him. His two accomplices fled, but were later arrested and charged with murder and burglary.