Second Amendment rights: HB 1018 needs a hearing
Indiana is more conservative than most states, and Second Amendment rights are strongly supported here. It makes sense, then that the state legislature would be considering legislation to prohibit state agencies from banning the “possession or transportation of firearms, ammunition, or firearm accessories” on public land, including public universities.
That is what House Bill 1018 would do.
This legislation is wider in scope than what had previously been sought by advocates of gun rights, specifically groups like Students for Concealed Carry. (Here are the Facebook pages for the Indiana University chapter and the statewide chapter.) Instead of applying only to state-supported universities, it would apply to all property owned or leased by the state.
This is a good change. Students should not lose their right to self-defense just because they are on the campus of a public university, but why should this only apply to students? Why leave the rest of our citizens out of this effort to protect our right to keep and bear arms?
When a much broader bill was proposed four years ago, I opposed it on the grounds that it was a violation of private property rights. This is more reasonable and should be passed. Let private property owners do what they want with firearms on their property, but do not allow the state to restrict the self-defense rights of Hoosiers.
But in order for this legislation to be passed, it must get a hearing in the appropriate committee. This is why what Representative Tom Dermody decides is critical. I am confident that HB 1018 would pass if brought to the floor for a vote, especially with Republican supermajorities in both houses of the Indiana legislature. But that cannot happen unless it gets a hearing first. Dermody should ensure that happens, and Hoosiers who value our natural right to self-defense should encourage him to do so.