Letter: Handgun permits, safety classes necessary

From: Bob Snively


I first joined the National Rifle Association in 1965, became a life member in 1969 and became an endowment member in 2000. I am a member of Hoosier Hills Rifle and Pistol Club and the Indiana State Rifle and Pistol Association, and I have an Indiana Lifetime Carry Permit. I am also a firm believer in the Second Amendment.

I do not however think that state Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, is right in the bills he has introduced in the Indiana Legislature. I don’t think that any Hoosier has the right to carry a handgun without having a permit, and in fact think that as a part of the permit process everyone should have to show proof of having taken a firearms safety class before the permit is granted. Honest people have the right to carry a firearm, but we have an obligation to make sure they carry that firearm safely.

I also believe that the law should be changed so that permit holders are required to carry their handgun concealed. Carrying a handgun openly makes a lot of people nervous, and my right to carry should not make anyone else uncomfortable.

I do believe he is right in that teachers should be allowed to carry a concealed handgun in school if they have gone through very rigorous firearms training and safety classes. It was pointed out in the Opinion page that we have two police officers assigned to the schools in Columbus, and that’s fine until you consider how many schools we have in Columbus, and the fact that two police officers can’t be in 10 or 12 different places at the same time.

I also think that one of the biggest shames we have in our court system today is that almost no one seems to be ever convicted of a firearms charge. Prosecutors and judges allow firearms charges to be dropped during plea bargaining. If a firearm is used in the commission of a crime there should be no plea bargaining and a mandatory five years added to sentences.