LUCAS: Short answer: Hell, yes

May 6, 2017

DEBATE QShould Indiana eliminate the requirement that a person who is otherwise legally allowed to carry a handgun obtain a license to do so?


ALegislators swear an oath to support our federal and state constitutions, and both are absolute in their wording that our right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed and the people shall have a right to bear arms for defense of themselves and the state.

This is absolute language, with no restrictions or licensing requirements mentioned. Therefore, any licensing requirements are unconstitutional and illegal.

To put this in perspective, imagine the outcry if people were required to get fingerprinted, fill out forms, pay a substantial fee, and get a license to go to church, write letters to the editor, work for the media, peaceably assemble or vote. Yet, we require these actions for our gun rights.

People who oppose our gun rights use manipulated and creative statistics to try to back up their emotional claims, while ignoring the facts that gun homicides are half of what they were 20 years ago and steadily decreasing. Accidental gun deaths are the lowest since 1903—all while Americans have been purchasing firearms in record numbers.

Indiana leads the nation in the percentage of adults who have a license to carry a handgun, with women the fastest-growing segment of those getting a license and filling up firearm safety training classes as soon as they are offered.

These are facts, and fortunately, people are starting to see through the deception and are paying attention to the facts.

A major misunderstanding is that the constitutional carry proposal affects who can get a gun. Getting a handgun has nothing to do with lawfully carrying a handgun. The only thing adopting a constitutional carry law would affect is removing the licensing requirement for those who may lawfully carry a handgun. Those prohibited from carrying a handgun will still be prohibited and will still be breaking the law by carrying after constitutional carry is adopted.

I view gun laws that inhibit lawful carry as extremely dangerous. They only make innocent people who follow gun laws easy victims for those who don’t follow gun laws. As a legislator, I have asked countless times for someone to please give me a law I can propose that will stop people who don’t obey laws. Understandably, there have yet to be any offerings.

How often do we read about or hear of people with multiple felony convictions being out on the street after having their charges dismissed or sentences reduced? We should focus on enforcing the multitude of existing gun laws we currently have and hold those who initiate violence accountable for their actions.

Fourteen states have already removed this unconstitutional requirement for a license to carry a handgun, and the facts clearly show the “blood in the streets” scenario so emotionally predicted simply has not happened. The majority of states have actually seen a decrease in gun deaths. As a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and a legislator who has sworn oaths to support, protect and defend the Constitution, I will not rest until our constitutional gun rights are restored.•


Rep. Jim Lucas is a Republican state legislator from Seymour and represents House District 69. Send comments to ibjedit@ibj.com.

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