« Ind. Gov't. - "Former treasurer's theft case dropped: Court rules 712 pieces of evidence inadmissible; civil case pending" | Main | Law - "Proposed Changes to Psychiatric Manual Stir Lawsuit Fears" »

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ind. Law - More on: "Enforce guns laws, don't keep secrets" Déjà vu?

Updating this ILB entry from Jan. 28, 2010, and this entry headed "Senate OKs bill on gun permit secrets" from Feb. 2, 2010, here is a quote from the Jan. 28th Indianapolis Star editorial:

Tuesday, the Indiana House resoundingly passed a bill to deny the press and public access to the public records from which The Star learned that Indiana State Police routinely grant gun permits to individuals known for violence. State law allows for the denial of permits, local police often object to the granting of them, and those who get them sometimes go on to commit crimes.

The newspaper would not have learned this without entree to the total gun permit archive, with its names and addresses.
The Star, in its online database, did not publish those names and addresses; only general information about gun permits by race, gender, age and ZIP Code.

That was enough, some lawmakers have said, to scare and even outrage them as to the endangerment of privacy, Second Amendment rights and life itself. Gun owners and non-owners alike bombarded them with pleas to keep the bad guys from knowing who might have a gun in his house and who might be unarmed, supporters of secrecy declare.

Far fewer have spoken up for the cause of open and responsible government. No one thus far has proposed a legislative inquiry into lax enforcement of a legislative mandate governing deadly weapons.

As for déjà vu, a reader has written to remind me of another, earlier ILB entry. It is from Dec. 9, 2006 and quoted a story from the NWI Times, headed "Visiting Statehouse? Keep the heat at home: Weapons restriction to start next year, but not for legislators, judges." The story began:
INDIANAPOLIS | The right to bear arms soon will stop at the Capitol steps, but not for those who make the laws.

The state is getting ready to purchase metal detectors and x-ray baggage scanners that will be installed at Statehouse entrances in Indianapolis early next year. And new rules, which drew no opposition at a public hearing Friday, will prohibit visitors from bringing knives, stun guns and firearms into the Capitol, adjoining Government Center offices and nearby parking garages.

But the new policy won't apply to police officers, judges or members of the General Assembly who hold licenses to carry concealed weapons * * *

Three years ago, a Fort Wayne newspaper reported that 25 of the Indiana's 150 state legislators held concealed weapons permits.

If this year's HB 1068 or SB 195 pass, making gun permit ownership secret, there will be no more watchdog surveys like that.of the Star or the Fort Wayne newspaper.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 14, 2010 01:14 PM
Posted to Indiana Law