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Voters may see guns at polling places


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Old 10-20-2012, 11:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Voters may see guns at polling places

Here's something going on in my neighborhood.

http://kokomotribune.com/local/x6994...polling-places

By Maureen Hayden and Scott Smith CNHI MEDIA

INDIANAPOLIS — Don’t be surprised if you see somebody with a handgun at your local polling place this November.

A 2011 state law that barred local governments from enforcing their own gun restrictions also covers many public buildings where people go to vote.

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson says the law is clear: Unless the polling place falls under the few exemptions in the law, legal gun owners have the right to openly bear their arms while they vote. “That matter has been settled,” Lawson said.

But it’s not quite been put to rest.

Last month, a Zionsville attorney who’s built a law practice as the unofficial enforcer of the 2011 law, filed a lawsuit on behalf of a northern Indiana man who was turned away from his polling place in a fire station during the May primary election after he refused to take off his holstered handgun.

Guy Relford thinks his client was a victim of ignorance of the 2011 law and predicts similar incidents may occur with the November election.

“I routinely get calls from people who say their local officials and local law enforcement don’t know or understand the law,” Relford said. “But ignorance is no defense.”

The law in question, known as Indiana’s firearms preemption law, prevents local political subdivisions from having their own firearms ordinances.

When it went into effect in July 2011, it also did away with local laws that prevented legal gun owners from carrying their weapons into public places like libraries, parks, city halls and fire stations.

The law exempts courthouses and schools, where firearms may still be banned.

Second Amendment rights advocates say the law was written at least partially to head off a looming ban on assault-style weapons in Gary.

Patrick Graham, a retired Kokomo Delco worker, said the Gary law would have made criminals out of otherwise law-abiding gun owners.

Even with the new law in place, however, carrying a gun into a polling place is bound to create controversy.

State Sen. Jim Tomes, a Republican from Wadesville who authored the law in his freshman year as a legislator, said it was intended for people like Relford’s client: Clay Edinger, a retired Marine and Iraq War veteran who is working on his master’s degree in theology and studying to become a military chaplain.

When Edinger went to vote, with his holstered handgun in plain view, he had a copy of the law with him, but was still turned away.
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Do they not have concealed carry in your area? That's one of those things that brings to light an obvious question:

"I can....but really, should I?"

I'm all about carrying, but I prefer concealed carry. Especially at a polling place, of all places, where you know there will be people of all political walks of life that may or may not know or understand the laws. Walking around with a gun on your hip without a badge to go with it is asking for ignorant folks to overreact, and it really just puts you at more of a disadvantage all the way around.

Cover it up (if legal) or leave it home, IMO.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by TheFuzz View Post
Do they not have concealed carry in your area? That's one of those things that brings to light an obvious question:

"I can....but really, should I?"

I'm all about carrying, but I prefer concealed carry. Especially at a polling place, of all places, where you know there will be people of all political walks of life that may or may not know or understand the laws. Walking around with a gun on your hip without a badge to go with it is asking for ignorant folks to overreact, and it really just puts you at more of a disadvantage all the way around.

Cover it up (if legal) or leave it home, IMO.
agreed, just because I can open carry in TN doesnt mean I plan to stroll through the polling place...I can see it now, I am on CNN or MSNBC being accused of using voter intimidation...investigated started by Obama's DOJ hunting dawgs...
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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I like having the right to but i will leave it in my car to vote.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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For any of you guys that normally carry for protection, how do you determine when it is safe not to carry? Or do you just not carry because someone else has the opinion that there are places that you shouldn't carry?
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Rights not used will become rights lost. I understand where some of you are coming from but the moment we make choices based on the ignorance of others or what they might find offensive, we give those people power over us. Why should you have to hide something that is your right? We have relinquished far to many rights already.

As for leaving it at home, why on earth should I, supposedly a free citizen, have to disarm and be at the mercy of others?

Legal open carry isn't the problem, ignorance and corruption are.
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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I agree with you. But unfortunately, the world we live in is plagued with crime, violence, and ignorance. This is why I believe that open carry is stupid - it draws way too much attention to yourself, and makes you an automatic target (for both bad guys and the folks that don't know what to make of it). I'm all about exercising your right to carry, as I mentioned, but you need to ask yourself if it's worth it and ensure that you are in full possession of the facts regarding not only the laws about open carry, but other laws that may affect the outcome for you. The last thing you want to do is get a summons (or worse, get arrested) because while open carry is legal, you scare enough sheeple at a polling place to get charged with "inciting panic" or some other charge, depending on where you live.

Like I said, you might legally be allowed to, but applying a little common sense goes a long way. Our rights are but a few federal signatures away from being lost. Advocating gun ownership and responsibly arming yourself without being flagrant about it is the best way to keep those rights intact. Standing there thumping your chest going "I'm carrying because I can, screw these ignorant wimps" is a pretty irresponsible mindset, IMO, and doesn't do anything to help the cause. I'm not saying that anyone here is that far off the map, but those folks are out there and bring more discredit to gun owners than anything else - they are the ones making headlines for stupid crap.

My department ID says "Commissioned Officer - Concealed Weapons Authorized". I can carry wherever I want, but it has to be concealed. There is a reason for that. If CC isn't an option for you where you live, then of course I'm all about being armed rather than not...just know what you're getting yourself into when you put that gun on and walk out of the house with it.
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TheFuzz View Post
I agree with you.
interesting way to start your post when you go on to disagree with everything he said. any particular reason you have done that?
But unfortunately, the world we live in is plagued with crime, violence, and ignorance. This is why I believe that open carry is stupid - it draws way too much attention to yourself, and makes you an automatic target (for both bad guys and the folks that don't know what to make of it).
Have you ever openly carried out of uniform and seen how much attention you get? I'm guessing you haven't, since you claim that it draws too much attention. I've noticed that 99% of the time, the only attention I get for open carrying comes online. Nobody in real life cares. I get a lot more attention when I'm with my four-year-old daughter, but I can't keep her out of sight just because she draws attention.
Oh, and do you have any examples of a citizen being targeted automatically by bad guys because he was openly carrying?

I'm all about exercising your right to carry, as I mentioned, but you need to ask yourself if it's worth it and ensure that you are in full possession of the facts regarding not only the laws about open carry, but other laws that may affect the outcome for you. The last thing you want to do is get a summons (or worse, get arrested) because while open carry is legal, you scare enough sheeple at a polling place to get charged with "inciting panic" or some other charge, depending on where you live.
and how do you think that I ought to close the gap between me and the people who see guns only on TV, being used only to commit crimes? They're going to see guns whether we wear them openly or not. Would you rather they see only the hollywood/liberal media propaganda that tells them that all guns are bad and they should be outlawed, or is it okay to let them see a guy doing the things he normally does with his family, voting, grocery shopping, going to the zoo, etc., and realize that guns aren't going to jump out and shoot them? And why does the opinion of a police officer in Colorado matter to a citizen in Indiana?

Like I said, you might legally be allowed to, but applying a little common sense goes a long way. Our rights are but a few federal signatures away from being lost. Advocating gun ownership and responsibly arming yourself without being flagrant about it is the best way to keep those rights intact. Standing there thumping your chest going "I'm carrying because I can, screw these ignorant wimps" is a pretty irresponsible mindset, IMO, and doesn't do anything to help the cause. I'm not saying that anyone here is that far off the map, but those folks are out there and bring more discredit to gun owners than anything else - they are the ones making headlines for stupid crap.
From what I understand, this lawsuit in the OP is not about "I'm doing this because I can" it's about "I'm doing this because you (the agents of the county government) can't do what you did because it's against the law." While we citizens who carry guns need to know the law, it is even more important for officers to know the law and enforce the law and not their opinions that they have no legal basis to enforce.

My department ID says "Commissioned Officer - Concealed Weapons Authorized". I can carry wherever I want, but it has to be concealed. There is a reason for that. If CC isn't an option for you where you live, then of course I'm all about being armed rather than not...just know what you're getting yourself into when you put that gun on and walk out of the house with it.
Actually, by your department ID, you don't have to keep your gun concealed, unless there is already a department policy on it. If there is a department policy stating that you may not open carry, then that is what requires you to conceal, not the authorization to conceal found on your ID.

Unless there is a department policy stating that you must keep your weapon concealed while you are off duty, then you fall under the same law as the rest of us. Since there is no Colorado Revised Statute that bans open carry, then open carry is legal (except as provided by C.R.S. 29-11.7-104 and, it seems, in Denver, if I'm reading your preemption statute correctly).

Indiana is pretty cool about that, though. Indiana law does not differentiate between concealed carry and open carry. We have a license to carry a handgun, not a CCW permit or Concealed Pistol License. Some police in Michigan have had to learn that just because someone has a CPL does not mean that they are not allowed to carry openly. In fact, in Michigan, it is legal to carry openly without any license whatsoever. I wish all the states were as cool about open carry as Michigan and Arizona, instead of getting all worked up over it.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by cce1302 View Post
For any of you guys that normally carry for protection, how do you determine when it is safe not to carry? Or do you just not carry because someone else has the opinion that there are places that you shouldn't carry?
usually i dont carry because of work locations and other reasons. I personally do not have any childlike notion that it is safe to never carry but other indications do require me to exercise my adult portion of my brain (hurts, I know).
for example, today i walked two kids into school (yeah, I can drop them off at the curb and they walk right in but I am an active parent that travels 50 out of 52 weeks of the year), then before getting back home, i had to pay a visit to a pharmacy (cant always beat the gene pool), now I am at home and surrounded by the sweet smell of gun cleaner and the sights there of. This afternoon I will again make a return visit to the same two schools and pick up the same two kids, so I will not carry again.

I was fully loaded when we went on vacation last week, noone will screw that up!

Guess that is the great thing about the land of the free, because of the brave, exercing rights (so far) is still just that my right. Besides I paid the fee, completed the background and shot the targets to prove to them I am a responsible adult.
This forum happens to be a great place to "meet" and greet a lot of really cool people with really cool action accessories that have the same general mindset.
that being said, I personally would appreciate not seeing you nit-pick and berate someone just because they choose to not exercise their rights the same way you do (above about the fuzz response). you made the first post and opened the door so what did you expect? when I feel like I am getting baited by someone into a no reason debate, my built in ignore button kicks in.

Not an opinion, just stating the way I feel and I posted this because I support this forum and our ability to take time to agree to disagree.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SWSS View Post
usually i dont carry because of work locations and other reasons. I personally do not have any childlike notion that it is safe to never carry but other indications do require me to exercise my adult portion of my brain (hurts, I know).
for example, today i walked two kids into school (yeah, I can drop them off at the curb and they walk right in but I am an active parent that travels 50 out of 52 weeks of the year), then before getting back home, i had to pay a visit to a pharmacy (cant always beat the gene pool), now I am at home and surrounded by the sweet smell of gun cleaner and the sights there of. This afternoon I will again make a return visit to the same two schools and pick up the same two kids, so I will not carry again.

I was fully loaded when we went on vacation last week, noone will screw that up!

Guess that is the great thing about the land of the free, because of the brave, exercing rights (so far) is still just that my right. Besides I paid the fee, completed the background and shot the targets to prove to them I am a responsible adult.
This forum happens to be a great place to "meet" and greet a lot of really cool people with really cool action accessories that have the same general mindset.
that being said, I personally would appreciate not seeing you nit-pick and berate someone just because they choose to not exercise their rights the same way you do (above about the fuzz response). you made the first post and opened the door so what did you expect? when I feel like I am getting baited by someone into a no reason debate, my built in ignore button kicks in.

Not an opinion, just stating the way I feel and I posted this because I support this forum and our ability to take time to agree to disagree.
I haven't nitpicked or berated anybody, or even told them that they are wrong for not exercising their rights like I do.

Obviously, it's okay to disagree with people, because you are posting that you disagree with me. I'm not offended by that.

I hope that one day we won't have to think ahead to where we are going (such as a school) and plan to not carry simply because the federal government wants us to be victims there. We are getting closer in some states with "peaceable journey" laws that allow us to drive on school property to drop off or pick up kids with firearms in the car, but we're not there yet.

I support your right to choose to be unarmed at any time or place that you wish to be unarmed. I do not think it is a good idea to let peer pressure make that decision for me.
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