On January 11, 2022, the Indiana House passed a Constitutional Carry Bill.
In 2021, Indiana came very close to passing Constitutional Carry in the state. On February 22 of 2021, the House passed bill 1368 65 to 31. The Indiana Senate had 39 Republicans and 11 Democrats. The future of HB 1368 looked bright.
Constitutional Carry is a restoration of the right to carry, without government permission, similar to when the Second Amendment was ratified in in 1791. At that time, there were no requirements to have government permission to carry firearms, openly or concealed. There were few places were citizens could not carry, such as early prisons, which were much less common than today, and powder magazines.
While there are several variations of Constitutional Carry, it is widely accepted as the ability to carry handguns, openly or concealed, in most public places, without the necessity of obtaining a government permit. It is also referred to as “permitless carry”.
In Indiana, 21 Republican senators were co-sponsors of the bill in 2021. It did not pass the Indiana Senate. The Republican leadership in the Senate decided to kill the bill. It was not alone.
The 2aproject.com reported there was a secret Republican Caucus vote to kill the bill, where a majority of Republicans voted against the bill in a meeting not available to the public. From the 2aproject, in April of 2021:
It is hugely frustrating for Indiana gun owners and supporters of the Second Amendment that Republicans, who hold a super-majority of 39-11 in the Indiana Senate, refused to give HB 1369 a public hearing – choosing instead to kill the bill behind closed doors in a secret vote taken last Thursday in the Republican Senate caucus. And consider this: we know for a fact that at least 20 Republicans voted against the bill in that secret meeting to achieve a majority. Yet the bill had 21 co-sponsors in the Senate. Simple logic dictates that at least two Senators (in addition to the 18 who were not co-sponsors) actually voted to kill the bill behind closed doors DESPITE BEING CO-SPONSORS.
State Senator Liz Brown killed the bill by the simple expedient of never scheduling it for a committee hearing.
Senator Brown remains the Senate Judiciary Chair in 2022. Senator Brown represents Senate District 15. The District was made somewhat more conservative in the 2021 redistricting, according to kokomoperspective.com. Indiana is a serious candidate to pass Constitutional Carry in 2022.
The constitutional carry bill, HB 1077, was introduced Tuesday. It specifies that those who are not otherwise prohibited from carrying or possessing a handgun are not required to obtain or possess a license or permit from the state to carry a handgun in state lines.
Bill author State Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) said the bill would not change the process to legally purchase a gun, and Hoosiers would still need to complete the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives form and be approved by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. He said this ensures only eligible buyers legally purchase handguns.
AP reports Senator Liz Brown is co-sponsoring a similar bill in the Senate.
The chairwoman of the state Senate committee that blocked the repeal effort last year is co-sponsoring a bill similar to the House proposal for this year’s session.
Politicians often promote bills they have no intention of passing, to gain credibility with their core constituents. Indiana voters will see if Senator Brown is serious about passing Constitutional Carry this year. Much depends on what the Senate bill has in it.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcolmb did not include a mention of Constitutional Carry in his priorities for the 2022 legislative session.
The deadline for filing for the 2022 state elections is on February 4, 2022. The primary elections are scheduled for May 3, 2022.
The House currently has 71 Republicans and 29 Democrats, for 100 total members. The Indiana House Bill 1077 passed with 63 votes to 29. The legislative session is scheduled to run from January 4th to March 14th.
The Indiana Senate has 39 Republican senators and 11 Democrat senators. Action in the Senate will be done before the primary elections.
The primary elections are scheduled for May 3rd. The primary elections could provide leverage to pass Constitutional Carry in Indiana. 2022 as an election year is a positive factor favoring passage of Constitutional Carry.
The Constitutional Carry map has changed since the Indiana senate killed the bill in 2021.
Iowa passed Constitutional Carry on 2 April, 2021. Tennessee passed Constitutional Carry on 8 April, 2021. Texas passed Constitutional Carry in June of 2021.
In total, five states passed Constitutional Carry in 2021. Utah and Montana passed Constitutional Carry before the Indiana Senate decision to kill Constitutional Carry in Indiana for 2021.
With 21 states having Constitutional Carry (permitless carry), objections to a bill in Indiana become harder to justify.
In 2020, the left pulled out all stops to remove President Trump from office. Those extreme measures worked nationally. They are not in play in 2022. Conservatives want to see action to stop the Leftist push for authoritarian government and socialism at the national level.
Constitutional Carry is a measure where state Republicans can visibly show their willingness to push back against authoritarian federal power grabs.
©2021 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.