Permitless carry, also called constitutional carry, is kind of the big push for gun rights activists in pro-gun states. At least, that’s the push in states that don’t already have it. The idea is that people who can lawfully own a gun shouldn’t have to ask the government for permission to carry that gun. After all, it’s the right to keep and bear arms, right?
Unfortunately, some states that should see such a law passed aren’t going to have that happen due to GOP betrayal.
My own Georgia is one such example, of course, but it also happened in Indiana, and the author of the bill is shocked.
State Rep. Ben Smaltz, R-Auburn, is puzzling over the failure of his gun-rights bill in the Indiana Senate this week.
Smaltz’s “lawful carry” bill sought to allow law-abiding Hoosier adults to carry handguns without the need to obtain state permits.
It passed the Indiana House of Representatives by a 65-31 vote on Feb. 22.
Twenty-one of the 50 state senators had signed as co-sponsors of the bill, including both state senators who represent DeKalb County, Sue Glick, R-LaGrange, and Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn.
His bill almost certainly would have passed in the Senate if it had been allowed to come to a vote, Smaltz said Friday.
Instead, two Senate leaders of Smaltz’s own Republican Party blocked the bill by refusing to give it a committee hearing.
Smaltz called the outcome “very disappointing.” He added, “The support was there. … Despite what was really trying to be done for the lawful good guy, decisions were made contrary to that.”
Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray halted the bill because of opposition from the Indiana State Police superintendent, the state police chiefs association and the Indiana Fraternal Order of Police, he told the Associated Press.
“Bray said he shared the concerns of those groups over the bill’s requirement that the state create a database so that police officers could immediately know if they are encountering people prohibited from having firearms,” AP reported this week.
Smaltz said Friday that the opponents worried about a feature that is not even part of his bill.
Smaltz noted that none of these concerns being voiced materialized anywhere the law has passed. He researched it, and he’s right. They haven’t.
However, what really happened is that some people who claim to support the Second Amendment–something that Republicans pretty much have to do in most places if they want to get elected–don’t. Bray appears to be one such example, as does David Ralston here in Georgia.
And they can get away with this double-dealing on the Second Amendment because we all figure they’re still better than a Democrat in that seat.
But are they really?
After all, if we can’t expand our gun rights back to what should be the factory default, we’re not doing what needs to be done. If a Republican is going to be an impediment to those goals, then replace them. If the seat flips Democrat because of it, then so be it. It’ll still be a lesson to other Republicans that if they say they’re going to support the Second Amendment, they need to act accordingly.
Right now, far too many Republicans figure they’re just entitled to your vote. Maybe it’s time to remind them that our votes have to be earned.