As the final day of Indiana’s 2011 legislative session concluded, the state House and Senate voted to give final passage to Senate Bill 292, NRA’s top legislative priority in Indiana this year. SB 292, the “Firearm Preemption Reform” bill, achieved an overwhelming concurrence vote in both the Senate and House, and will soon be sent to Governor Mitch Daniels’ desk for his consideration.
The “Firearm Preemption Reform” bill traveled a long and difficult road to reach final passage. SB 292 faced constant attack from the media, anti-gun opponents, some Indiana mayors and even Jim Irsay, the owner of the Indianapolis Colts. The attacks were based on false information, spread to scare the public and legislators from supporting legislation that protects law-abiding gun owners from the confusing patchwork of city ordinances across Indiana.
SB 292 passed in the Senate Committee on Corrections, Criminal and Civil Matters by a unanimous 10 to 0 vote on January 27, but was stalled for its second reading on the Senate floor until February 10. After two and a half weeks of delay over fictitious media-fed concerns, the Senate gave final passage to SB 292 on February 14 with an overwhelming, 38 to 12 vote.
Shortly after passing the Senate, the Indiana House of Representatives shut down for five weeks. During this time, the attacks continued on lawful gun owners and the bill’s authors and sponsors. As they always do, anti-gun opponents pulled the same tired trick out of their failed playbook, making shrill predictions of violence and a return to the “wild, wild west” by honest citizens running errands at municipal buildings, taking their children to libraries, attending public hearings or enjoying a city park.
Your NRA worked continually with the bill authors and sponsors and communicated the facts of this bill with House leadership and other representatives. NRA members repeatedly contacted state Senators and Representatives in support of this bill, in an effort to overcome these misguided and deceptive messages. When the state House came back into session, SB 292 was assigned to the House Public Policy Committee. After more delays over concerns and confusion about the bill, SB 292 passed out of committee on April 13. On April 15, the bill passed on the House floor by a 77 to 21 vote.
Due to some weakening amendments added on its second reading in the House, the bill’s author, state Senator Jim Tomes (R-49), rejected the changes, sending SB 292 to a conference committee on April 19. During the conference committee hearing, more opponents gave public testimony, requesting more exemptions to further weaken the bill.
Although there was some unnecessary delay due to more last-minute ‘concerns’ by opposing groups, the conference committee successfully rolled back amendments that would have weakened SB 292 and re-drafted a committee report for a strong version of the Preemption bill. On April 29, the final day of session, SB 292 was signed by all four conference committee members and passed in the Senate by a 40 to10 vote and in the House by a 70 to 24 vote.
The NRA would like to thank the authors and sponsors of SB 292, who worked from its introduction through its final passage in the General Assembly: state Senators Jim Tomes (R-49), Brent Steele (R-44) and Brent Waltz (R-36) and state Representatives Mike Speedy (R-90), Sean Eberhart (R-57) and Jerry Torr (R-39).
SB 292 now heads to Governor Mitch Daniels’ desk for his consideration. NRA members should contact Governor Daniels, respectfully urging his support to strengthen Indiana’s firearm preemption law.
To contact Governor Daniels, please click here and then click the contact link in the middle of the page.
NRA Member communications had a big impact on how elected officials voted on firearm-related legislation. Please take a moment to check the roll call votes below for SB 292, and send your state Representative and state Senator a note of thanks:
Indiana House of Representatives SB 292 Roll Call 730, 4/29: www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2011/PDF/Hrollcal/0730.PDF.pdf
Indiana Senate SB 292 Roll Call 513, 4/29:
Contact information for your state legislators can be found here.