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Indiana Republican Convention To Allow Firearms

The Indiana Republican Convention will allow attendees to carry firearms at its convention in Fort Wayne.

A man carries a revolver in his holster.

Photo: BBC World Service (Flickr)

A man carries a revolver in his holster.

Attendees of the 2014 Indiana Republican State Convention will be allowed to carry firearms.

The announcement comes in contrast to previous statements made by party officials who had said the Grand Wayne Convention Center in Fort Wayne wouldn’t allow firearms at the convention on June 6-8.

Convention center executive director Barton Shaw says, under a 2011 law, the facility is considered a political subdivision and therefore can’t regulate the possession of firearms in the building.

According to Shaw, anyone who rents the space, whether it’s a high school for a prom or a political party for a convention, can apply their own policies regarding firearm possession.

State Sen. Jim Tomes, R-Wadesville, says the announcement isn’t a very big deal.

“I don’t see anything that’s unreasonable about having qualified, lawful citizens having their firearms with them,” he says.

Rep. Vernon Smith, D-Gary, however, doesn’t understand the need to have firearms at the convention.

“I don’t see why they need guns at a convention,” he says. “Why would they need guns at a convention?”

Tomes and Smith were on opposite sides of the most recent gun legislation, Senate Bill 229, which Gov. Mike Pence signed into law in March. The bill allows law-abiding gun owners to have their firearms locked in their vehicle while on school property and also prohibits the use of taxpayer money for gun buyback programs.

Tomes says there’s a distinction between law-abiding citizens that conceal and carry and law breakers using firearms.

“In every state, including Indiana, there are people that go to races, sporting events, social affairs, they have their firearms, they participate, they enjoy themselves, they meet other people, they go home and nobody ever knows the difference,” Tomes said.

Smith disagrees.

“I think guns give people false courage,” Smith said. “Where you would not be able to do what you would do with your fists, you do it with the equalizer.”

Tomes says that while he expects some delegates to exercise their right to carry firearms at the convention, he guesses that most probably won’t.

Will Healey

Will Healey is a reporter for WFIU/WTIU News. He has studied Creative Writing and Philosophy at Fordham University in New York and Journalism at Indiana University's School of Journalism. He is excited to be part of the team and report on issues that impact the lives of Hoosiers.

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  • Bob Eckert

    Oh please Lord, if you’re up there, please make several incidents occur where the Republicans who are carrying get into an argument about Obamacare and pull and fire their weapon, miss the target and then get arrested.

  • Halftone

    So the first person to comment shows his true violent nature. This is why people feel the need to be able to protect themselves. Liberals are actually violent people.

  • Szandor

    What will you say when this doesn’t happen? Just like the NRA convention in Indy. 80,000 law abiding gun owners and not a single incident.

  • Bob Eckert

    Yeah that’s why Republicans started the majority of the recent wars and now want us to invade the former Soviet Union. By the way, didn’t your mommy tell you how to spot sarcasm?

  • Bob Eckert

    I don’t want it to happen but it would put the NRA’s knickers in a twist and it would be BAD for RepubliThugs(tm) and that is always good.

  • Pingback: Pro-Gun Group Wants Open Carry at Texas GOP Convention | Conspiracy Wire

  • Zion Moulder

    No they’re not

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