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Voters may see more guns at polling places(IN)
pharostribune.com ^ | 20 September, 2012 | Maureen Hayden

Posted on 09/21/2012 12:55:52 PM PDT by marktwain

INDIANAPOLIS — NOTE: In an earlier version of this story, it was incorrectly reported that state Sen. Jim Tomes, the law's author, encourages gun owners to openly display their firearms in public places. While legal gun owners have the right to do so, Tomes said the intent of his law was to provide a uniform policy for legal firearms carriers statewide. Tomes said he doesn’t advise licensed owners to carry openly because it sets those legitimate citizens up as targets for those who intend to commit a crime and causes unnecessary fear among other citizens who are unaware of such firearms laws. Below is a corrected version. We regret the error.

Don’t be surprised if you see somebody with a handgun at your local polling place this November.

A 2011 state law that barred local governments from enforcing their own gun restrictions also covers many public buildings where people go to vote.

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson says the law is clear: Unless the polling place falls under the few exemptions in the law, legal gun owners have the right to openly bear their arms while they vote. “That matter has been settled,” Lawson said.

But it’s not quite been put to rest.

Last month, a Zionsville attorney who’s built a law practice as the unofficial enforcer of the 2011 law, filed a lawsuit on behalf of a northern Indiana man who was turned away from his polling place in a fire station during the May primary election after he refused to take off his holstered handgun.

Guy Relford thinks his client was a victim of ignorance of the 2011 law and predicts similar incidents may occur with the November election. “I routinely get calls from people who say their local officials and local law enforcement don’t know or understand the law,” Relford said. “But ignorance is no defense.”

The law in question, known as Indiana’s firearms pre-emption law, prevents local political subdivisions from having their own firearms ordinances. When it went into effect in July 2011, it also did away with local laws that prevented legal gun owners from carrying their weapons into public places like libraries, parks, city halls and fire stations. The law exempts courthouses and schools, where firearms may still be banned.

State Sen. Jim Tomes, a Republican from Wadesville who authored the law in his freshman year as a legislator, said it was intended for people like Relford’s client: Clay Edinger, a retired Marine and Iraq War veteran who is working on his masters degree in theology and studying to become a military chaplain. When Edinger went to vote, with his holstered handgun in plain view, he had a copy of the law with him, but was still turned away.

“(The law) was directed at people who have a license to carry a firearm, who’ve qualified for one, who’ve gone through the proper background checks with police,” Tomes said. “Some people imagined that we were going to have people shooting up libraries and parks and that just hasn’t happened.”

Tomes said Relford’s lawsuit has prompted questions about whether he thinks the pre-emption law should be amended to include polling places. His answer: “Absolutely not.”

While some gun rights advocates may encourage legal gun owners to test the law this fall, Tomes is not doing so and he cautions gun owners to be aware of the public perception of guns. “The media reports so many negative stories about guns and gun owners that people are living in fear,” Tomes said. “People are conditioned to react badly to the sight of guns.”

Tomes said the preemption law protects the rights of legal gun owners, but he doesn’t encourage licensed gun owners to openly show or display their legal firearms in public places. “The intent of the 2011 firearm preemption law was to provide a uniform policy for legal firearms carriers statewide, allowing them to legally carry their firearms in places they couldn’t before,” he said.

Tomes said his reasoning for not advising open displays is two-fold. First, he said, is that Indiana’s “concealed carry” law already allows legally licensed owners to have their firearms on hand in public places in case of an emergency. “Openly carrying a firearm in public venues works against the idea of having protection in the case of an emergency by most likely making any legal carrier a target of those who are illegally carrying firearms,” Tomes said.

The second reason echoes his concern about how the public perceives the guns. “(B)ecause people are not accustomed to seeing an openly carried firearm in public places, it’s common courtesy to keep them concealed as to not excite unnecessary fear,” Tomes said. “Most legal firearms carriers are responsible enough to extend this courtesy to fellow Hoosiers, carrying their firearms concealed as a demonstration of respect.”

Matt Groeller, president of the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, said while his organization opposed the firearms pre-emption law when it was debated in the Statehouse, he thinks most communities complying.

Relford is working to make sure they do. He’s filed three lawsuits targeting local governments that he says have violated the law. One involves the City of Hammond, whose officials have told law enforcement not to enforce their local gun bans but have refused to take the local bans off their books. That lawsuit is in the state Court of Appeals. He’s also sued the city-owned zoo in Evansville, after police ordered a gun-carrying zoo visitor to leave the premises after fellow zoo visitors said they were frightened. That suit is pending.

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; News/Current Events; US: Indiana
KEYWORDS: banglist; in; opencarry; voting
In the colonies, I beleive some militias were required to bring their weapons in order to vote.

The idea has merit. Those who are willing to defend the sate and self with arms are showing responsibility. Heinlien discussed a similar idea in Starship Troopers, where the franchise was limited to those who were willing risk their lives to defend the country, mostly through military service.

1 posted on 09/21/2012 12:55:59 PM PDT by marktwain
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To: marktwain

beleive should be believe, and sate should be state.


2 posted on 09/21/2012 12:57:07 PM PDT by marktwain
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To: marktwain

Can they point to any case, anywhere in the US - or the world for that matter - where an open-carrier was targeted by a violent criminal? Why do they cling to this belief so fervently?


3 posted on 09/21/2012 12:57:44 PM PDT by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: mvpel

It seems weird to me but a fair number of FReepers seem to think that an open carrier is inviting trouble.


4 posted on 09/21/2012 1:00:50 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: marktwain

I like the idea of voters being able to carry openly or concealed while voting. I’d like to see the NBP try to intimidate an armed voter.


5 posted on 09/21/2012 1:02:00 PM PDT by Little Ray (AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: Little Ray
"I like the idea of voters being able to carry openly or concealed while voting."

Law-abiding citizens should be allowed to carry openly or concealed at all times.

It is only the criminal, the defective-in-mind, or those who hate the United States who want 2nd Amendment rights restricted or removed.

6 posted on 09/21/2012 1:14:18 PM PDT by Carl Vehse
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To: marktwain
Some Citizens would not like to see open carry in polls...


7 posted on 09/21/2012 1:34:01 PM PDT by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: Little Ray

“I’d like to see the NBP try to intimidate an armed voter.”

If they try it with me they will be looking down the barrel of a .357 Magnum, .357 SIG or 10-mm Auto and they will be in a world of trouble.


8 posted on 09/21/2012 1:44:45 PM PDT by DarthVader (Politicians govern out of self interest, Statesmen govern for a Vision greater than themselves)
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To: mvpel; All
Can they point to any case, anywhere in the US - or the world for that matter - where an open-carrier was targeted by a violent criminal? Why do they cling to this belief so fervently?

It has happened, at least once. But, as it is widely publicized when it happens, I believe it is extremely rare, a "unicorn" event. I believe that CCW carriers are targeted much more frequently. I have posted several stories where CCW carriers were attacked and then had to access their concealed weapon.

9 posted on 09/21/2012 1:51:08 PM PDT by marktwain
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To: cripplecreek
I would prefer to carry openly because I can draw faster when I don't have to move a shirt. In Ohio, technically I'm legally authorized to do so but I recognize that openly carrying scares the shiite out of a lot of people who might then be inclined to oppose us. As such, I see open carry in Ohio as being counterproductive at this time. It is my hope that, in this state, concealed carriers will not push so hard that normally neutral people feel a need to push back. We have made great progress and should continue to push for further progress but we should defer the open carry issue until our concealed carried laws are so firmly entrenched in our state codes that open carry is no longer seen as "scary" but rather as normal behavior. Don't rush to failure.
10 posted on 09/21/2012 1:58:49 PM PDT by RC one
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To: marktwain
Under the convoluted laws governing concealed carry in Michigan, if you have a concealed pistol license and are a resident of Michigan, then it is legal for you to open carry your firearm on school grounds, where most polling places are.

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/msp/MSP_Legal_Update_No._86_2_336854_7.pdf

11 posted on 09/21/2012 2:01:13 PM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: marktwain
From article:
A 2011 state law that barred local governments from enforcing their own gun restrictions also covers many public buildings where people go to vote.

This state law should have been utterly unnecessary; the reason being there are multiple felonies incurred by the act "barring someone with a gun from voting."

18 USC § 245 - Federally protected activities says that voting is a federally protected activity (b.1.A).

Furthermore, there is the issue of barring weapons. This is guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment, and so the Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law & Conspiracy Against Rights sections come into play.
First, the Color of Law states “Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution […] shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results […] or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; […]

Now, obviously those saying that weapons are prohibited are obviously contrary to the words of the 2ND Amendment, which says it shall not be infringed.

The Conspiracy one is even more straightforward, “If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same;” then they are in violation of the law; and obviously there is more than one person involved in the crafting [and implementation] of "local government" laws.

12 posted on 09/21/2012 5:15:09 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: marktwain; RC one
Just to clarify things, when referring to 'open carry' is this to include OWB holsters worn under a jacket or long shirt?
I'm never clear about this qualifying as overt 'open carry.'

I understand how old west pistol belt and holster or tactic leg carry rigs could be 'open carry.'

Or is this just simply any carry method that is visible to others with out their looking very hard?

If so, it might be extended to include IWB holsters or even some shoulder rigs with an unbuttoned jacket.

Thanks
13 posted on 09/21/2012 6:10:56 PM PDT by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus sum)
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To: cripplecreek

Open carry may not be “inviting trouble”, but you can’t rationally deny that concealed carry has both tactical and social advantages...


14 posted on 09/21/2012 6:14:22 PM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
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To: TXnMA

Tactical advantages maybe but social advantages is only because America is full of fearful bunnies. Even into the 80s I could walk the aisles of the local grocery store with a shotgun over my shoulder and no body batted an eye.


15 posted on 09/21/2012 6:19:32 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: TXnMA; All

Open Carry Concealed Carry

Advantages

Tactical Faster Draw, tactical deterrence Greater surprise

Strategic Armed Citizens a visible presence Uncertainty about who might be carrying

Social Normalize Rights and Defense Does not draw attention to yourself

Disadvantages

Tactical Less surprise Slower Draw, less tactical deterrence

Strategic Carriers are identifiable Armed citizens not identified

Social Can draw unwanted attention Does less to normalize rights and defense


16 posted on 09/21/2012 6:27:33 PM PDT by marktwain
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To: marktwain
t has happened, at least once. But, as it is widely publicized when it happens, I believe it is extremely rare, a "unicorn" event.

If it is widely publicized, then how come I've never heard of it happening anywhere, ever?

I was OC in Phoenix because I didn't have an AZ-recognized CCW, and the sketchy guy who was making a beeline for me from across the street at 10pm acted like he hit a brick wall when the streetlight reflected from my pistol, and hurried off in the opposite direction.

Most criminals aren't swaggering thugs, they're just looking to get as much as possible with as little fuss and effort as possible, and attacking someone you know to be carrying a gun is the OPPOSITE of little fuss and effort, and so that people have this idea that open carry invites attack is just downright weird to me.

17 posted on 09/21/2012 6:33:36 PM PDT by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: Tainan

If it isn’t concealed, it’s openly carried. It doesn’t matter what kind of holster is used. If folks can see it, it’s open. That’s really all there is to it.


18 posted on 09/21/2012 6:38:09 PM PDT by RC one
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To: TXnMA; All
That last table did not work well. This should be clearer:

Open Carry Advantages

Tactical - Faster Draw, tactical deterrence, larger handguns easier to carry

Strategic - Armed Citizens a visible presence

Social - Normalize Rights and Defense

Disadvantages

Tactical - Less surprise

Strategic - Carriers are identifiable

Social - Can draw unwanted attention

Concealed Carry Advantages

Tactical - Surprise

Strategic - Uncertainty about who is armed creates deterrence

Social - Does not draw unwanted attention

Disadvantages

Tactical - Loss of tactical deterrence, slower draw, larger handguns more difficult

Strategic - Presence of armed citizens is uncertain

Social - Less normalization of rights and defense

19 posted on 09/21/2012 6:41:19 PM PDT by marktwain
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To: mvpel

“If it is widely publicized, then how come I’ve never heard of it happening anywhere, ever?”

Because it is extremely rare. This the only case that I know of in the U.S.

Open Carrier Shot And Killed When Gun Taken By Thug

http://njgunforums.com/forum/index.php?/topic/29639-open-carrier-shot-and-killed-when-gun-taken-by-thug/


20 posted on 09/21/2012 6:45:47 PM PDT by marktwain
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To: marktwain

In order to make a comment like #16 comprehensible, you really should learn how to use HTML Tables...

Lots of good info there, but the lack of formatted organization made your effort a waste...


21 posted on 09/22/2012 11:08:48 AM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
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To: TXnMA

Yes, need to learn more html.


22 posted on 09/22/2012 4:28:56 PM PDT by marktwain
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To: marktwain
Here it is as a crude HTML table:

OPEN CARRY CONCEALED CARRY
ADVANTAGES
TACTICAL Faster Draw, tactical deterrence Greater surprise
STRATEGIC Armed Citizens a visible presence Uncertainty about who might be carrying
SOCIAL Normalize Rights and Defense Does not draw attention to yourself
DIS-
ADVANTAGES
TACTICAL Less surprise Slower Draw
STRATEGIC Carriers are identifiable Armed citizens not identified
SOCIAL Can draw unwanted attention Does less to normalize rights and defense

I'll "pretty up" the HTML code and FReepmail it to you so you can see what it looks like in HTML.

Having so many categories and sub-categories ("Tactical", etc.) made it a bit of a challenge...

23 posted on 09/22/2012 7:46:22 PM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
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To: marktwain

Hopefully some of them will go nuts, in liberlal voting precints.


24 posted on 09/22/2012 7:50:00 PM PDT by Lazamataz (RAGE MONKEY RULEZ!!!)
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To: marktwain
Here's the HTML code: (Not sure it is worth the effort... ) '-}
OPEN CARRY CONCEALED CARRY
ADVANTAGES
TACTICAL Faster Draw, tactical deterrence Greater surprise
STRATEGIC Armed Citizens a visible presence Uncertainty about who might be carrying
SOCIAL Normalize Rights and Defense Does not draw attention to yourself
DIS-
ADVANTAGES
TACTICAL Less surprise Slower Draw
STRATEGIC Carriers are identifiable Armed citizens not identified
SOCIAL Can draw unwanted attention Does less to normalize rights and defense
The code is far more readable when properly formatted in a good HTML edotor... [E-mail messes up formatting -- especially nested tabs.] :-(
25 posted on 09/22/2012 7:53:09 PM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
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To: marktwain

LOL! Got crossed up between FReepMailing and posting. :-( The code is on its way via FReepMail...


26 posted on 09/22/2012 7:58:56 PM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
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To: TXnMA

Thanks, I appreciate the work that you put in ;-)


27 posted on 09/22/2012 7:59:20 PM PDT by marktwain
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