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Quoted from the Indiana Law Blog
Ind. Law - More on "Proposals advance to widen gun rights"

Last Sunday the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette had a comprehensive story headlined "Proposals advance to widen gun rights: Legislature considering lifetime permits, deadly force." (See the ILB entry here, which includes links to earlier entries.)

Today the Journal Gazette has this editorial, titled "Guns ad Lawmakers." Re the "lifetime gun permits" proposed in HB 1176 and SB 54, the editorial states:

Renewing a driver’s license requires a visit to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles every six years, but proposed legislation would spare holders of gun permits the trouble of ever having to renew. House Bill 1176 and Senate Bill 54 both include language to award lifetime gun permits.

“The Second Amendment gives law-abiding citizens the right to own and possess a gun, and the current process is an undue burden,” said the House sponsor, Troy Woodruff, R-Vincennes. “This way you would get your license once, and as long as you are in good standing, you keep it.”

Bad idea. Even Allen County Sheriff James Herman, a gun-rights supporter, questions the wisdom of lifetime licenses.

“But honestly, I think it’s a good idea to do it every four years,” Herman told The Journal Gazette’s Niki Kelly. “It affords us the opportunity to review things every once in a while. I think it is prudent.”

It is prudent given the limited requirements for obtaining a permit. In Ohio, gun-permit applicants must complete 12 hours of firearms training with a licensed instructor, including at least two hours involving live fire of guns on a range. Indiana has no such requirement. It is foolish for lawmakers to even consider a lifetime permit without first requiring firearms training.

Re the "no retreat" provisions contained in HB 1028:

Another bill, HB 1028, is also nearing final approval in the General Assembly. Known as a “Shoot First” law by opponents and a “Stand your ground” law by proponents, it clarifies the use of deadly force against someone breaking into a home or car.

One noxious provision of the bill was removed by its Senate sponsor. Republican Johnny Nugent of Lawrenceburg stripped language that would have prohibited employers from banning weapons in their parking lots. The National Rifle Association was seeking guns-at-work legislation in all 50 states, but has stumbled in its goal. Florida business owners blocked a similar provision in their state last month.

The provision could resurface in Indiana, however. The NRA issued an action alert to its Hoosier members asking them to contact their senators and urge them to support the original language. The bill was approved by the Senate by a 44-5 vote Tuesday – without the provision for workplace guns. But it will most likely undergo more changes in negotiations between House and Senate conferees.

There’s no doubt that guns and the workplace can be a dangerous combination. Business owners who ban weapons from employees’ parked cars recognize the danger. It would be unconscionable for the General Assembly to force employers to allow guns on their property. Nugent was right to strip that language from the bill, and the measure should not be restored.

The editorial concludes:

The overwhelming support for the gun bills in each of the chambers suggests they will be approved, and Gov. Mitch Daniels has indicated he will sign them. Hoosiers should wonder why they were such a priority in a busy short session.

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