Indiana Lawmakers OK Guns in School Parking Lots
Indiana lawmakers approved a controversial bill to allow guns in parked cars on school property.
The measure cleared the Senate on a 38-10 vote. The House followed suit, voting 75-24 and sending the measure to Gov. Mike Pence for consideration.
"The votes followed floor debates between lawmakers who wanted to protect the gun rights of licensed permit holders and those who felt the measure would lead to more access to guns and possibly more violence," said USA Today.
Republican state Sen. Jim Tomes, bill author, said the measure allows people who can legally possess firearms to have their guns on school property only if concealed in locked cars in parking lots. It doesn't allow guns in the schools, buildings, school buses or at any functions where there are students present on school grounds, said USA Today. But the bill would allow teachers, parents, school visitors and high school students who are members of gun clubs to have guns locked in their cars in school parking lots. Student gun club members would have to receive permission from school principals.
Under current law, people who have guns in their cars on school property would be committing a felony.
Democratic Sen. John Broden said the bill goes too far because it removes the discretion of school districts to approve gun-free parking lots, if they so choose, said USA Today. He said schools can be one of the most combustible workplaces — with students being expelled or tensions rising at sporting events — so he doesn't think it's wise to introduce more weapons on school property.