Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, center, talks with House Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta, D-Fort Wayne, before he delivers his State of the State address to a joint session of the legislature at the Statehouse, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
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Yesterday, Indiana passed a Constitutional Carry bill that would allow anyone 18-years-old or older eligible to own a gun the right to carry one in public without any government licenses.  It passed overwhelmingly, putting Gov. Holcomb in a sticky position.

While Governor Eric Holcomb is a Republican, he’s not a big fan of Constitutional Carry.  In this instance, he can either sign the bill and claim victory, or he can veto it and suffer the humiliation of getting his veto over-ridden with a simple majority in both houses.  Given how the bill passed with overwhelming support (68-30 in House, 30-20 in Senate), a simple-majority veto over-ride is about as likely as another Joe Biden gaffe.

Constitutional carry has proven difficult for Hoosier gun owners.  Republicans-in-name-only (RINOs) have blocked the measure in recent years, but this year the RINOs couldn’t stop freedom and liberty.  The remaining RINOs that survived the last election can read the tea leaves.  An angry electorate and an upcoming election tends to focus the mind of politicians.

The Indy Star has the great news

Amid a multistate push from pro-gun groups, Indiana lawmakers approved a bill on Tuesday that would eliminate the license requirement to carry a handgun.

The legislation split Senate Republicans as it moved through the legislative process. It now heads to Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, who finds himself in an interesting situation. 

If he vetoes the legislation, he risks being the sole politician to stand of the way of so-called “constitutional carry,” potentially angering the conservative wing of his party. If he signs the bill, he’ll be going against the wishes of the head of the state police, Douglas Carter, who accused lawmakers of pandering to lobbyists and political posturing. 

Indiana State Police’s Doug Carter does a remarkable job at psychological projection.  Does he forget that lobbyists often represent voters who have jobs and work for a living, and as such are unable to take time to personally lobby their representatives?  And political posturing?  Pot, meet kettle.

Either outcome could have political ramifications for [Governor Eric Holcomb’s] future. So far, he hasn’t indicated which way he’ll swing.

Under House Bill 1296, anyone who legally can carry a handgun now could do so without a permit moving forward. That includes Hoosiers 18 years and older. The bill would also elevate the theft of a firearm to a Level 5 felony, meaning someone convicted would be imprisoned between one and six years, and may be fined as much as $10,000. 

Yes, if Holcomb burnishes his reputation as opposing gun rights for law-abiding Hoosiers, his political career for higher office (he’s term-limited out as governor after two consecutive terms) is done.  Indiana voters are not one bit happy with Joe Biden or RINOs.

On the other hand, Governor Holcomb risks further alienation from people who would already never vote for him while in the privacy of a voting booth if he signs the bill.

In other words, it’s a tough choice for a Republican in name only.  Either way, the bill will likely take effect on July 1, 2022.

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55 COMMENTS

  1. +1 on the felony status of firearm theft.

    Now if they can only get cold beer legalized in the Hoosier state.

    • Governor,

      Wait, are you serious? Stores cannot sell cold beer in Indiana? That could be a deal-breaker as a retirement destination!

      • Frankly anyone in law enforcement who is against Constitutional Carry is not to be trusted and needs to go.

        It takes a real self serving arrogant ratbassturd to deny another person what could be their one chance for self defense. After all, the gun owner already took a NCIC anal exam, next they carried the firearm “concealed in a box” across the parking lot and drove it all over town and took it out of their vehicle again to bring it in the home. And of course the gun owner not being stupid rides around with it in their vehicle everyday. That is until the jackazz law steps in and denies the firearm owner the common sense courtesy to wear coat over a their firearm or keep their firearm in a purse, etc. Next the jackazz law orders them to leave the firearm in their vehicle to grocery shop so some repeat criminal can break the glass and steal the unattended firearm in less than 30 seconds.

        Like I said…Anyone in law enforcement who is against Constitutional Carry is not to be trusted and needs to go.

        • what the hell does that have to do with beer?
          if you’re not replying (see where it says “reply”?) then the comment belongs down there at the end. self important ad nauseum.

      • You can buy cold beer, it just has to be from a liquor store or gas station. Grocery stores sell room temp beer only. And yes, I fully comprehend the irony of gas stations, which one has in all likelihood driven to, being one of the places allowed to sell beer thermodynamically ready for immediate consumption.

        • I think the law is you can’t sell cold beer AND cold soda. Convenience stores generally don’t sell beer at all because it’s not worth the bother of having a liquor license. If they do have it it will be warm.

      • ‘That could be a deal-breaker as a retirement destination!’

        If you’re looking for warmer climes for retirement make sure to watch out for those pesky dry counties. Even worse than warm beer – no beer. They’re all over the place, especially Arkansas. You can hit the liquor store for cold beer in Indiana though.

    • we bought a shopping cart full of ammo in the valpo warmalt, they didn’t bat an eye at the quantity. but we had too much beer for the size of our party forcing us to lie about “not being in the same group.” then it was ok…

      • “Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, center, talks with House Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta, Democrat-Fort Wayne”

        There is a good Democrat, wearing his cloth obedience mask shaming his Republican colleagues.

        Democrats leading the way for a safer, cleaner America.

        • Democrats leave the southern borders open so untold numbers of unvaxxed folks can swarm into America.

          Talk about a super spreader event.

        • Minor MINER49er You Leftists could not lead a horse to water with a divining rod. GiaQuinta is a Lefty just like you. So naturally you are going to praise him.

          You want to disarm us. Tell the truth. FACT: A Good guy with a gun can counter a BAD guy with a gun each and every time.

  2. As someone who eventually plans on moving a scant mile east(& already spends a large % of his income there)I hope they pass Constitutional Carry. It’s already EZ to get a permit. And cheap. Compared to the fat boy running ILLannoy Holcomb is a saint…

  3. I have often thought about retirement in Kentucky which I consider kind of a sweet spot with respect to year-round weather. (Summers are not too hot. Winters are not too cold with very little snow and sort of short. And there are wonderful change of seasons.)

    If this passes, I will have to seriously consider southern Indiana in lieu of Kentucky.

    Pro-tip: wherever you decide to retire, consider a location that is a “safe” distance away from the New Madrid fault near Tennessee and Missouri. That may have produced the largest earthquake in the modern history in the Continental United States.

  4. @Gov. William J Le Petomane…..There’s a very large coalition of liquor store owners all over the state of Indiana that sell cold beer who don’t want the competition! Liquor stores claiming they wouldn’t be able to compete with large chain prices, ie., grocery stores, convenient stores, pharmacy, gas stations, etc. etc.. If you want a cold beer you buy it from the aforementioned businesses “warm” then cool it yourself, or go to a liquor store, bar, or restaurant and have a cold beer…..

  5. I’m genuinely stunned. After all the shenanigans the leadership in the Indiana Senate pulled to gut/kill the bill (particularly by Judiciary Chair Liz Brown), I never thought the bill would get to the governor’s desk.

    As for whether Holcomb will sign it…I normally avoid discussing politics at TTAG outside of 2A issues, but it’s relevant here.

    It’s an open secret that Holcomb wants to run for Senate after his term ends. How signing or vetoing the bill will affect that run is the only factor he’s considering right now.

    Unquestionably, he’d be happier if the bill had died. I would lay very good money that the opposition in the Indiana Senate was an effort to carry water for the governor’s wishes to “make this thing go away.” Holcomb likes things to run quiet and business as usual.

  6. The Governor is probably aware of public opinion in his state. In most states the overwhelming majority of citizens are horrified over a bunch of uneducated back woods Hill Jacks all running around with guns who do not know the law in regards to when you can use deadly force or have had any firearms safety training.

    In my own CCW class many people were not even aware that you would most likely be sued in a shooting even if you were not charged with a crime resulting in thousands of dollars of legal fees. Even a Doctor in the class was not aware of this which really shocked me. When he found out he decided not to go ahead and get his CCW permit. His exact words were “I have a hot temper and I know I would end up shooting someone”.

    There have been many cases of people accidentally shooting themselves or someone else that had no firearms training. I have read of more than one case where an uneducated person accidentally shot someone while out shopping when a loaded gun they were carrying went off.

    When a person does not know the laws of his state the result is many needless shootings and killings. And the person who gets shot next time just could be you. Something the Neanderthals of the Far Right never consider. Common sense is not in their genetic code.

    Politically the best thing the Governor could do is reject signing this totally asinine bill. There is no guarantee it will be overridden either. As a matter of fact in most cases it is difficult to override a Governor’s veto.

  7. Wait a minute – “If he signs the bill, he’ll be going against the wishes of the head of the state police, Douglas Carter, who accused lawmakers of pandering to lobbyists and political posturing” – So Doug Carter doesn’t consider Bloomberg and Soros money groups as “Lobbying”?

  8. If the governor was a true patriot, he would have no problem signing the bill no matter his party affiliation.

    • Hey Debbie W. here’s another comment of mine awaiting moderation and it is clearly not vulgar etc
      “If the governor was a true patriot, he would have no problem signing the bill no matter his party affiliation.”

  9. “An angry electorate and an upcoming election tends to focus the mind of politicians.”

    That’s a good line!

  10. Next door in OH, there is a provision that a bill passed by the legislature and presented to the governor will become law without a signature if the governor takes no action on it after 10 days. Wondering whether that’s DeWine’s strategy on the constitutional carry bill that was just sent to him. He can veto it, and it goes back to the legislature, or he can sign it and it becomes law, or he can lose it on his desk for a week and a half, and it becomes law without his signature. There have been a few noodle-for-a-spine actions like that over the years. IN must not have that option?

  11. This bill does not change any requirement for age or training to carry. The law for a long time has allowed 18 year olds to obtain a license to carry and there is no training requirements.

  12. 2A or else! Our freedoms are being infringed! Hello people wake up! You your way of life and family safety is at stake!

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