In response to an inquiry by Senators Jim Buck, Aaron Freeman, and Jim Tomes, Attorney General Curtis Hill issued Opinion 2020-4 today asserting that state and local governments cannot infringe on Second Amendment rights during a state of emergency.
“No unit of government in the State of Indiana has the power to restrict the lawful exercise of the right to bear arms during a state or local emergency. Furthermore, local units are prohibited by Ind. Code § 35-47-11.1-2 and Ind. Code § 10-4-3-33.5 from ordering firearm retailers to close their businesses or in any other way restricting or prohibiting the transfer or sales of firearms during an emergency declaration or otherwise.”
On March 23rd, Governor Eric Holcomb issued Executive Order 20-08. That order specifically designated “firearm and ammunition suppliers and retailers for purposes of safety and security” under “Essential Businesses and Operations,” exempting them from being shut down during this state of emergency. Despite the governor's clear direction, some localities had reportedly categorized gun stores as "nonessential" and required them to close, necessitating this opinion.
NRA would like to thank Attorney General Hill for this strong opinion reaffirming that the Second Amendment is the law of the land to ensure that law-abiding citizens can access their right to self-defense during these uncertain times.
Please stay tuned to www.nraila.org/coronavirus for further updates on our Second Amendment rights during COVID-19.