On Feb. 14, a bill was passed in the Indiana Senate that would permit individuals to carry firearms in Indiana municipal buildings, such as Conseco Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil Stadium.
While we understand the intentions of the bill, we hesitate to support allowing individuals carrying loaded handguns in highly trafficked areas.
A common misconception of this new bill is that anyone who owns a gun will simply be able to tote it around with them while they are out in public.
However, in order to carry a concealed weapon at any time, one must have passed a rigorous process in order to receive a concealed handgun permit. This process includes a background check, a written test, a required fee and attending a firearm safety class.
If this legislation is passed, only individuals who have a concealed handgun permit will be able to carry them in locations such as the Indiana Convention Center, city parks, libraries and any other municipal buildings.
The reason this bill raises so much concern is because the areas where guns are may be permitted are often family oriented—parks in particular. In the event something were to go awry or there were some sort of accident, the fear is that children could easily be injured.
There are also many who are concerned about the timing of this legislation, as the 2012 Super Bowl will be played in Indianapolis. If this bill is signed into law, it will be effective when the game is played. However, the Super Bowl is unique, and it is described as a “National Special Security Event.” This means that the event’s security is overseen by the FBI and Secret Service, giving them the power to strike down any local laws and effectively ban handguns on game day.
Also, if this legislation is enacted, there are ways in which buildings like Conseco Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil Stadium can avoid adherence to the law. Since the Colts organization has a contract with Lucas Oil for use of the stadium, they can simply put a notification on tickets, telling fans that handguns are banned at that particular event.
In an interview with the Terre Haute Tribune Star, State Sen. Brent Steele said, “The Colts could bar a ticket holder from wearing the color green if they wanted to.”
It is entirely up to the organization.
Also, the legislation will provide security throughout the state of Indiana.
Internationally, the United Kingdom is infamous for their ban on firearms in 1997. While crime rates in London soared exponentially, we do not feel that allowing individuals with concealed handgun permits will really lower the crime rates. Although they may be able to prevent a crime, it would probably be a scarce occurance.
We feel that by allowing individuals to carry concealed handguns into events, the negatives far outweigh the benefits.