Gun bills on fast track

February 11, 2010
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Hoosiers are about to receive two new gun laws if support in the General Assembly is any indication.

One set of bills would allow employees to keep guns in their vehicles at work. Some of Indiana’s biggest companies, Eli Lilly and Cummins, testified against the Indiana versions for fear they couldn’t protect their property and employees. The House version shot ahead 76-21, and the Senate bill 41-9.

Now both chambers are hashing out minor differences in preparation for final versions.

Similar legislation has passed in 11 states. The momentum started several years ago when some Oklahoma workers were fired after they went hunting before work and, you guessed it, left guns in their vehicles. The Oklahoma statute has been upheld on appeal.

The other Indiana gun legislation would shut down public access to names and addresses of Hoosiers with permits to carry handguns in public. These bills were prompted by a story in The Indianapolis Star revealing that some rough characters slipped through the cracks and got permits. Nevertheless, even though the Star published no names or addresses of permit holders, proponents of the legislation say citizens are worried about public access to the database.

A House bill passed by an even wider margin than the “guns-at-work” bill, 85-11. Now it’s under consideration in the Senate and expected to get a similar reception.

Gov. Mitch Daniels probably would sign both pieces of legislation.

Ultimately, guns-at-work comes down to undergirding either the rights of property owners or of gun owners. In the case of the permit database, it’s between gun owners’ right to privacy and the public’s right to know.

What's your stance? And would these bills have been so popular in the Democrat-controlled House had the national political landscape not turned so harshly against the party in recent months?


  • About Time
    It's about time something was done to protect citizens during their commute to and from work...and anywhere in between. As a female who travels through some "not so nice parts of town"--with high crime rates, I shouldn't have to do so without the ability to protect myself. With my company's policy of not allowing guns on work property, that means they are telling me I can't have my gun with me during my commutes...or anywhere I stop on the way.

    I normally hate government interferring with property rights, but when you become an employer that all changes. If my employer isn't willing to protect me during my commute, then they shouldn't tell me I can't have my gun with me.

    Further, for anyone who believes this will increase workplace violence, they should look at all the instances where someone came to a workplace and shot people...none of these happened because the worker got mad and went out to their car for a weapon. The person almost always came from home and had already been fired or laid off.
    • Law Abiding Citizens
      Remember that gun restrictions only affect law abinding citizens, not likely to commit crimes or acts of violence. Both of these laws protect law abiding citizens, in these cases gun owners, from needless harrassment that does no good from a public safety standpoint. These laws have nothing to do with the current partisan political climate. They are about the fundamental right supported by the second amendment. Gun ownership is legal in America and these are good laws.
    • here here
      Carroll I couldn't agree with you more. At least for now...this is a free country with everyone having the right to bear arms. The vast majority of "legal" gun owners don't have guns to rob people or go "postal" at work. We have them for self protection, hunting, or many times just collecting them for their history.
      If someone wants to come to work and kill their gun law is going to stop them from finding a gun ... or a knife...or a bat or just use their car.. or their bare hands for that matter. It is NOT the gun that kills....itâ??s the people. Inanimate objects don't do anything to anyone. Again people are looking to place blame on anything else except for where it belongs. On the individual who acted.
    • A matter or risk
      The 2nd amendment is always an interesting debate. The side not being noted here is one of risk management and the requirements imposed by the insurance policies that cover company liabilities. If the legislature is interested in removing the private rights of businesses in favor of gun advocates, then they should also be willing to cover additional costs in insurance premiums and remove all responsibilities and liabilities for any damage or harm that may result as an effect of this law.
    • Liability; responding to Alternative View
      Alternative: If you read the bill, you'll see that it does give immunity to employers for following this statute - thus, employers do not have any additional liability because of this proposed statute. Also, they will no longer have to worry about possible liability for assuming the duty to protect their employees during their commute. This bill is good for employers and employees alike.
    • Politics
      A part of the question posed was whether or not these bills would have been so "popular" in a Democrat controlled House if not for the current political climate nationally. They would have been as "popular", but they would have been killed by the liberal Democrat Speaker, Pat Bauer, as they had been in prior years. He would have single-handedly denied a vote in the House if not for the perceived political peril in November.
    • Employer Liability Issues
      Alternative View: You asked about "damage or harm that may result as an effect of this law." There is no evidence that firearm bans prevent workplace shootings - in fact in almost every instance of workplace shootings over the last decade or more, firearms have been banned in the workplace in question. That being the case, how could one attribute any future "damage or harm" in a workplace shooting to this proposed law?
    • Another View
      Firearm bans at the workplace may not prevent workplace shootings... but, without them, aren't you enabling workplace shootings when a disgruntled employee can just run out to their car and grab a gun? Without workplace bans on firearms, it's making it easier for a disgruntled employee... in other words, a step is being eliminated for workplace shootings to occur. At least with workplace bans on firearms, a disgruntled employee may have to go home to get a gun... which in turn, could allow time for that employee to cool down. In my opinion, hopefully the bill does not pass.
    • Fast Track
      Gun-free zones don't work - they never have and never will. School shootings have proved that beyond any reasonable doubt. Instead of stopping lunatics bent on mass mayhem, gun-free zones embolden such murderers. They may be psychotic, but they are still rational enough to know gun-free zones are where they can kill numerous people without the prospect of armed resistance. Many of these shooters intend to die in the event, either by suicide or "suicide by cop." It is ludicrous and absurd in the extreme to believe the prospect of a misdemeanor (or felony) gun possession charge will have the slightest deterrent effect and[url=]fast track cash [/url] to the sellers of this guns.

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