Intelligent people could debate whether contentious elections and guns are a wise mix. But thanks to Indiana lawmakers, voters are more likely to see someone asserting Second Amendment rights at the same time citizens are exercising their right to vote on Nov. 6.
Lawmakers made numerous changes to Indianas gun laws over the last few legislative sessions. One, which went into effect in July 2011, barred local governments from restricting guns in many public places and buildings, including parks, libraries, city halls and fire stations. Many of those public building are also used as polling locations on Election Day, making it more likely people will be carrying guns when they vote.
Firearms are still banned in courthouses and schools.
A lawsuit was recently filed by Guy Relford, a Zionsville attorney, on behalf of a client who was asked to leave his gun in his car when he went to vote at the local fire station during the May primary.
Relfords website says his practice specializes in the protection of Constitutional rights, focusing on the Second Amendment and Indiana gun laws.
The penalties Indiana legislators built into the law banning local regulation of firearms will likely make Relfords strategy lucrative. A prevailing plaintiff alleging a violation of the law has the potential of getting damages that equal three times the plaintiffs attorney fees. Additionally, the defendant would quite likely have to pay court costs and attorney fees. Meaning the local government, and more precisely its taxpayers, would be on the hook for significant sums with these lawsuits.
Most citizens with gun permits know that the Second Amendment exists to protect a persons right to self-defense. Its not intended to encourage people to display guns brazenly in public in a way that will intimidate or frighten innocent people.
Unfortunately, there is the possibility some less civic-minded gun owners may decide to test the law on Nov. 6 by prominently displaying their guns while voting.