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The state of Indiana has introduced new legislation that aims to provide greater protection for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking.

Under HB1071, a protected person must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a woman or man over the age of 21.
  • Must have obtained an order of protection as a result of being a victim of sexual assault, domestic violence, or stalking.
  • Must be eligible under all federal and Indiana state laws to legally purchase, own, and carry a concealed firearm.

If all of the aforementioned is met, HB1071 provides the following:

  • The victim may lawfully carry a handgun without an Indiana License to Carry Handgun for 60 days from the day they obtain the Order of Protection; or 60 days from the day they apply for their License to Carry Handgun; whichever is greater.

So what does all of this mean?

Statistics show that when someone is sexually assaulted, stalked, or a victim of domestic abuse, an order of protection does not necessarily equate to the safety of the victim. Sometimes filing a personal protective order (PPO) enrages an already volatile and unstable person.

Although a PPO is concise in its legal meaning, only those who follow the rules and fear consequences are apt to abide by a PPO. Unfortunately for victims, most perpetrators of abuse do not follow the law, and an abuser is considered most dangerous during the first 72 hours after they have been served.

HB1071, once signed into law, will protect a victim’s decision to engage their Second Amendment right, ensuring that those in harm’s way will not again be a victim to their abuser.

Guy Relford – a prominent Second Amendment attorney, NRA Certified Instructor, author of Gun Safety and Cleaning for Dummies, and host of an Indiana radio show “The Gun Guy” – made it clear that HB1071 is a law that protects victims.

“Basically,” explains Guy, “what this bill does is provide a victim some peace of mind knowing they have control of their lives. HB1071 helps to ensure that all victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, who have obtained a protective order; and are otherwise lawful to carry a gun, are not going to be victimized again, either by an attacker or by the state for carrying a handgun for self-defense without a license.”

The timing seems right for Indiana to sign HB1071 into law, as national motivation to empower those who are abused keeps picking up steam. Virginia residents just saw the introduction of a similar bill in their state.