By P J Klosinski

The Right of every individual to determine self-protection enshrined in both the Indiana Constitution and the U.S. Constitution has become known as Constitutional Carry.  Yet what exactly has become of that right to defend life?  Although defined in  Black’s Law Dictionary 6th ed as “A right guaranteed to the citizens by the United States Constitution and state constitutions and so guaranteed as to prevent legislative interference therewith”  government has not been prevented from legislating conditions and judicial determinations have further qualified interference as compelling government interest.

Indiana Hierarchy Law demands compliance from Indiana government officials to the Constitution(s) including “All statutes of the general assembly of the state in force, and not inconsistent with such constitutions.”  We find language in the Indiana Constitution “Section 32. The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State.” and the second Amendment   “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”  containing the terms shall and shall not.  These two terms are recognized as absolute in law.   We then have a further qualifying mandate in Indiana found in Section 25:” No law shall be passed the taking effect of which shall be made to depend upon any authority, except as provided in this Constitution”.    Is the current Code regulating firearms requiring permission from Indiana through a license to carry a handgun consistent with the Constitutions? 

Indiana Code 35-47 ARTICLE 47. WEAPONS AND INSTRUMENTS OF VIOLENCE define in chapter 1 what Indiana considers to be a “Proper person”, in ordinary terms an innocent person.    “Proper person” includes but is not limited to a person who:  has not been convicted of specified crimes, does not have a record of being an alcohol or drug abuser, does not have documented evidence that the person has a propensity for violent or emotionally unstable conduct, has not been committed to a mental institution under specified conditions, and has not been found by a court to be mentally incompetent.

The code also prohibits who is not entitled to a license to carry a handgun.  Prohibitions include any individual not deemed a “Proper person” by Indiana.     In order to be approved for a license to carry a handgun in addition to being a “Proper person” you must agree to be fingerprinted, fill out all forms declaring information to be truthful, pay a fee to the government and then wait an unspecified amount of time until the state proves you are innocent and therefore privileged to be able to receive a license to provide your own Right of self-protection.
HB 1159 affects a number of citations which have no relation to the Right of self-protection as applies to an individual resident.  The section of individual prohibition which requires a license to carry for a “proper person” when transporting a handgun in your vehicle has been eliminated.   Also repealed is the ability of a law enforcement officer to arrest a person for “ probable cause to believe that the person violated carrying a handgun without a license or counterfeit handgun license”.

The amended portion of  Section 10. IC 35-47-2-1 removes the requirement of a license to carry a handgun in any vehicle or on or about the person’s body including all currently mandated provisions on how and where to carry with a license.

Intact chapter of  IC 35-47-2-1 remains “ This  chapter may be not construed:  to prohibit a person who owns, leases, rents, or otherwise legally controls private property from regulating or prohibiting the  possession of firearms on the private property;  to allow a person to adopt or enforce an ordinance, resolution, policy, or rule that:  prohibits; or  has the effect of prohibiting;  an employee of the person from possessing a firearm or  ammunition that is locked in the trunk of the employee’s vehicle, kept in the glove compartment of the employee’s locked vehicle,  or stored out of plain sight in the employee’s locked vehicle,  unless the person’s adoption or enforcement of the ordinance, resolution, policy, or rule is allowed under IC 34-28-7-2(b); or  to allow a person to adopt or enforce a law, statute, ordinance,  resolution, policy, or rule that allows a person to possess or  transport a firearm or ammunition if the person is prohibited from  possessing or transporting the firearm or  ammunition by state or  federal law.”

A New Section Added reads as follows:  Unless the person’s right to possess a firearm has been restored, a person who has been convicted of domestic battery may not possess or carry a handgun.   The section continues to describe violations and specific prohibitions.

Amended Section 13. IC 35-47-2-3, reads as follows: “ A person  who is not otherwise prohibited from carrying or possessing a handgun: is not required to obtain or  possess a license or permit from the state to carry a handgun in Indiana”.  This section is the language which removes the unauthorized government legislation contrary to the explicit terms of the  Constitutions and repeals the demand to fund government through fees in order to exercise your Right to self-protection.

Also in the Amended Section 13 is a provision for: “A resident of this state who wishes to carry a firearm in another state under a reciprocity agreement entered into by this state and the other state may obtain an Indiana firearms reciprocity license under this chapter”.     The current Code for obtaining the now repealed handgun license remains in effect for obtaining either a 4 year or lifetime reciprocity license.  Application requirements remain the same as is the fee charged, collection of information as to the residence, occupation, physical characteristics, a mandatory set of legible and classifiable fingerprints, and the officer’s recommendation for approval or disapproval. Nor shall a reciprocity license be issued to any person under the same circumstances as applied to the repealed license to carry a handgun including felony convictions, age requirements, etc.  Following the collection of data your application must then be forwarded to the superintendent for final approval or disapproval of the privilege to carry a reciprocity license.

Throughout the  29 pages comprising HB 1159, there does not appear to be any change in the Code which would determine anyone who is not a “Proper person” qualified by Indiana to receive a license to carry a handgun would have the lawful right to carry a handgun simply because there would be no license required.   Anyone who is currently prohibited from carrying or possessing a handgun would still be prohibited from carrying or possessing a handgun.   Current Indiana Code does not require a person to possess a license to carry in order to purchase or possess a handgun.  License to carry a handgun is only issued to individuals deemed a “Proper person”, a lawful innocent individual.  There can be no conditions placed upon a Right which is guaranteed protected against government interference by the contracts of the Constitutions.

Indiana is prohibited from passing any law which depends upon any authority except as specifically provided in the Indiana Constitution.  A Right defined and protected by the Indiana Constitution cannot be subject to legislation in order to be exercised, to do so makes it a privilege controlled by the government rather than an Individual Right of our existence.

We are all created equal as individuals; those elected to protect individual Rights are placed in a position of administration to protect the minority of one according to the requirements of that office exclusively requiring compliance with the Indiana and U.S. Constitutions.

Rodney Benker
Rodney Benker
Rodney Benker is a husband and father to three children. His professional life involves Digital and Social Media Directorships. His Libertarian duties involve Vice Chairman - Libertarian Party of Indiana, Social Media Director Libertarian Party of Indiana, and Chairman - Libertarian Party of Johnson County. Rodney holds a Bachelor and Associate Degrees from Full Sail University in Digital Media and Business with a Certification from Northwestern University in Social Media. #LibertarianIN

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