Ind. Congresman’s Bill Allows Concealed Carry Between States
By Sean Powers, with additional reporting from The Associated Press
A congressman from northeastern Indiana is sponsoring a bill that would allow people who legally carry a concealed weapon in their home state to do the same in other states that allow concealed weapons.
Republican Marlin Stutzman said the proposed measure would eliminate confusion among law enforcement and gun owners about which states have agreements about concealed carry laws.
He also said the right to self-defense is the cornerstone of the Second Amendment.
"It would give people the ability to be in compliance with own state's law," Stutzman said. "But as they travel around the country, it does not make them a criminal in another state."
Stutzman said people with a concealed carry permit would be able to legally travel with their weapon to states that recognize concealed carry.
Illinois is the only state that has a concealed carry ban, but that's expected to change within a few months.
Democrat Andy Manar is a state senator from Bunker Hill.
"I don't think we want people coming across our borders that don't meet the same requirements as a potential law that we should set up here in Illinois," he said.
Former Republican Tim Johnson of Urbana sponsored a similar concealed carry measure a few years ago to allow people in Illinois to obtain a permit in another state. Congressman Stutzman said his bill would not allow that.
Meanwhile, gun-toting protesters rallied at the Indiana Statehouse to voice their opposition to President Barack Obama's proposed gun control plan.
A crowd state police unofficially estimated at 250 chanted and waved signs on the Statehouse lawn for two hours Friday morning, trying to get legislators' attention in hopes that the lawmakers would pass on their concerns to Congress.
Many gun owners believe their Second Amendment rights are threatened by the package that Obama presented to Congress last month following the Newton, Connecticut school massacre.