Thank you Hoosier gun owners

Yesterday afternoon, thanks to all your phone calls and emails to the Democrats in the Indiana House, HB 1065 passed out of the rules committee it had been sentenced to die in with a 9-1 vote, and then later in the day passed the Indiana House 74-20.  The bill is now on its way to Gov. Daniels’ desk for his signature, which will ensure that law-abiding gun owners cannot be unjustly targeted for discrimination by their employers.

Thank you again to everyone that called, wrote, and emailed their representatives on this critical piece of legislation.  Also, thanks to our hardworking friends at the Indiana State Rifle and Pistol Association, and last but CERTAINLY not least a huge Thank You to our tireless advocate from the NRA for all the blood, sweat, and tears poured into this bill.

14 Comments

  1. “which will ensure that law-abiding gun owners cannot be unjustly targeted for discrimination by their employers.”*

    *Offer not valid to employees of Colleges & Universities.

  2. I’m disappointed by laws like this. The employer (or whoever owns the parking lot) should have control over his or her own property, including the right to ban guns on that property. The bill doesn’t prevent discrimination by employers, it limits property rights of employers, and I don’t think the government should do that.

    1. So you’re saying that an employer’s property rights trump my property rights to keep a legal item in my property? My car is a floating island of my property, so why should his property right infringe on mine?

  3. Your car is not a floating island of property. Not by common sense, nor by any legal precedent I’m aware of. If it were, I could (for example) drive my car onto your lawn and then claim you have no right to tell me to move it. The bottom line is, if you want to park your car on someone else’s property, you have to abide by their rules.

    If you don’t like one of your employer’s rules, you’re free to quit, boycott their business, or picket outside (on public property). We shouldn’t try to use the force of government to try to compel anyone to change their policies to better suit our preferences. Even if you’re happy about the specific outcome in this case, remember how easily things can go the other way.

  4. So, just following your reasoning to it’s logical conclusion, the police should be able to search your car without a warrant right? I mean, since your car isn’t your property they don’t need a warrant or your consent to search it.

  5. No, police still need a warrant if my car is parked in my driveway (because that’s my property, and police can’t enter my property without consent). But if I park my car on someone else’s property, and the owner of that property gives the police permission to search my car, then you’re right, they wouldn’t need a warrant (it’s really no different than an employer giving the police permission to search an employee’s desk). In fact, police generally don’t need warrants to search cars in the first place: see Carroll v. United States or California v. Acevedo. If you’re concerned about this sort of thing, you should do some research on the “Motor Vehicle Exception.” I don’t necessarily agree with all the decisions various courts have made over the years, but it’s important to know your rights.

    I think you’re putting too much emphasis on the fact that you own your car. I own my jacket too. But if a store owner bans guns in his store (and posts whatever signs that might be legally required to inform me of that ban) I can’t carry a gun in my jacket pocket and claim that since my jacket is my property that I can ignore the ban.

  6. Nice try but no banana – the motor vehicle exception still requires that an officer have probable cause to initiate a search. If you had this bill instead of going all “raghg property rights trump all other rights ruuaaggh” you’d have realized that all it effectively does is prevent employers from firing some poor dude that locked his concealed carry gun in his glove compartment, or left his deer hunting gun in the trunk on the opening day of deer season.

    The jacket comment is a nice strawman though, I’ll give you credit for that. Having a gun in your jacket isn’t the same as locking a gun in your car and leaving it there, but if you think it is then I can’t help you.

  7. Your car is not a floating island of property. Not by common sense, nor by any legal precedent I’m aware of.

    Car-as-extension-of-domicile is a well-established legal principle. And yes, Johnny Law does need your permission or a warrant to look in your trunk, even if it’s parked in my driveway. I can tell them to move your car, but I can’t give them permission to pop the trunk.

  8. (Or I should say “was”; the Wo(S)D has eroded them considerably over the years of the Rehnquisition, as you point out in your later comment.)

  9. @Caleb: Yes, police still need probable cause, and I never claimed they didn’t. All they need is probable cause and legal access to wherever the car is parked (ie the permission of the parking lot’s owner). They don’t need a warrant. And we’re in agreement on what this bill does (protecting people who keep guns in their cars despite knowing full well that doing so is against company policy). And I’m not even debating the merits of such a policy. I agree that it’s stupid and doesn’t reduce gun violence, and personally, I’d make the choice not to work for a company with such a policy. But they still own the lot, and therefore it’s still their right to set the policy.
    And the jacket analogy is no strawman at all. Your entire argument rests on the claim that since your car is your property, you can keep a gun inside it, despite the property owner’s ban on guns. That’s no different than saying since a jacket is your property, you can keep a gun inside it, despite the property owner’s ban on guns.

    @Tam: I don’t disagree that police should need a warrant to search cars. And I agree that the owner of a parking lot should be able to have a car removed if it’s parked there without permission. All I’m saying is that there should be no ban on firing the owner of the car along with having the car removed.

    But worrying about search warrants for cars is beside the point. As gun owners and enthusiasts, it’s easy to see that the results of this kind of law are good for us, and therefore assume we should support them. But consider some other laws that don’t suit your personal preferences, for example, statewide smoking bans in bars and restaurants. As a non-smoker, those laws are actually pretty convenient for me. But why shouldn’t an owner of a bar be able to allow smoking? Obviously the owner doesn’t mind smoke, or he’d ban smoking himself. The employes and the patrons must not mind the smoke either, or else they’d choose not to work or patronize that bar. Any smokers reading these comments are probably against smoking bans. But non-smokers should be against them too, and on the same principle, they should be against laws requiring employers to allow guns on their property.

    Although it’s probably a generalization to characterize all gun people as “conservatives,” I’ll stick with my original statement that I’m disappointed by conservative support of laws like HB 1065. We should be speaking out against the government sticking its nose in where it doesn’t belong, which is exactly what this bill does.

  10. Chris, if you can’t tell the difference between a jacket and a car, it’s no wonder you can’t see why this bill doesn’t trample anyone’s property rights.

  11. Chris,

    As I’ve mentioned on my own blog, I used to share your position. I’ve argued it vehemently. Something Kathy Jackson, someone normally even more wookie-suited than I, pointed out to me once is what has started to modify my thinking:

    Can a property owner regulate the underwear you are wearing? If nobody sees it? Why? How does it effect his property or those using it if they can’t see it? Which part of the Non Aggression Principle gives a property owner the right to make you drop trou for a thong inspection?

  12. “Can a property owner regulate the underwear you are wearing?” On his own property, yes.
    “If nobody sees it?” Yes.
    “Why?” Because the property owner has an absolute right over what occurs on his property.
    “How does it [a]ffect his property or those using it if they can’t see it?” It doesn’t, but this is irrelevant. You’re free to argue that the property owner’s policy makes no sense, but he still has the right to set the policy.
    “Which part of the Non Aggression Principle gives a property owner the right to make you drop trou for a thong inspection?” Nobody can force you to take your pants off (or do anything else, for that matter). But they can ask you to leave their property. And that’s all this boils down to. If a property owner asks you to leave; you have to leave. If he asks you not to bring guns on to his property, you have to abide by that decision. If he decides not to employ you if you decide to bring a gun on to his property, then so be it. You can either decide to keep a gun in your car, or you can decide to get a new job. There’s no need for government interference in this issue.

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