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.