(Article continued from September 2011 issue of North American Hunter)
July Was a New Year
In many states, July 1 is the day that laws passed in the year’s legislative sessions become effective, and in 2011 it was a big day for those who work in the trenches to protect and expand the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
In Indiana, new laws now protect the identity of concealed carry permit holders, allow residents to carry handguns to ranges, gun shows and friends’ homes without a permit and override local restrictions on gun use and ownership.
House Bill 1068, Indiana’s Gun Permit Privacy Act, prohibits media outlets and members of the public from gaining access to Indiana’s statewide database of gun permit holders. It was drafted in response to the publishing of permit-holder information by the Bloomington Herald-Times and the Indianapolis Star in 2010.
Further, Indiana’s Emergency Powers/Workplace Protection law protects the ability to own and lawfully use firearms for defense in a declared state of emergency, as well as the right to lock a lawfully owned firearm in a personal vehicle while at work without the fear of termination.
Under a new law effective July 1 in Nevada, persons who qualify for a permit to carry concealed may obtain a single permit to carry all types of semi-automatic firearms, rather than individual permits for each specific gun. Previous Nevada law required a new permit—and new paperwork—along with re-qualification to carry a new firearm.
A second new Nevada law allows non-residents to purchase shotguns and rifles in the Silver State.
And on July 1, Wyoming joined Alaska, Arizona and Vermont by permitting citizens the unfettered right to carry concealed guns, commonly referred to as constitutional carry.
In addition, House Bill 167 amends and clarifies Wyoming’s current Castle Doctrine law by defining habitation as “any structure which is designed or adapted for overnight accommodation; including, but not limited to, buildings, modular units, trailers, campers and tents,” and home as “any occupied residential dwelling place.”
One Win in Illinois
Despite the disappointment shared by Illinois residents and non-residents alike over the failure to pass right-to-carry legislation in the last state that prohibits lawful carry for personal protection, the 2011 session was not a total bust in The Land of Lincoln.
With Gov. Pat Quinn’s signature, Illinois gun-owner identities will remain shielded from public disclosure.
The issue received attention earlier this year after state Attorney General Lisa Madigan contended that lists of those with Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) cards should be made public under the state’s open records law. Since the ID card system was instituted in the mid-1960’s, the Illinois State Police has maintained a database with all FOID information, and has considered this material to be confidential and not subject to public release.
With the bill’s passage, Illinois joins Florida, Tennessee and Indiana, where laws deny public access to concealed-carry firearms permit holder names after newspapers used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain and publish previously confidential information.