Lots of them had questions for him about how long the process took, etc., so I stuck my foot in to play Cliff Claven… the following was my comment:
I don’t know what the current stats are; but 10 years ago, 1 out of every 15 adults in Indiana had a carry permit.
A little background for the uninitiated: Indiana does not differentiate between concealed carry and open carry — though there are philosophical and tactical arguments for either preference, Indiana folks tend to carry concealed much more than openly; so chances are, you are sitting beside, and shopping beside, people who responsibly carry firearms every day.
To get a permit to carry, you are subjected to a federal background check, your fingerprints are recorded, and a fee is collected. We are a ‘shall issue’ state, which means unless the Sheriff or the State can find a reason that you don’t qualify (criminal background or mental instability), they grant the permit regardless of their personal opinion on the subject (many other states are ‘may issue’, which means they grant permits on a subjective basis — do they ‘believe’ you need it?).
If you are pulled over by a police officer, you are advised to alert the officer that you have a license to carry FIRST, then explain whether you are carrying at the moment, and where that firearm might be on your person (rather than saying, “Hi officer, I have a gun!”).
Having this permit does not give you legal license to ignore posted signs; having a firearm on federal property (even in the parking lot of the Post Office) is a federal offense, even with this card. Having a firearm in a privately-owned business that has posted a ‘no guns’ sign is not a federal crime — it is trespassing; and if you leave when an employee asks you to, they have no legal standing to pursue you.
However if you are of the mind to ‘stand up for your rights’ and argue with the business owner, I would direct you to a re-read of the Constitution, which limits the power of the Federal government, not the local ice cream shop, to decide how your rights extend across the boundaries of other’s rights. If you don’t like the stance of a business on the subject, feel free to educate them on your difference of opinion — but do so while respecting their right to tell you to go away.
Most states honor other state’s carry permits (this is called ‘reciprocity’) — but Illinois does not honor ours, and Ohio only recently changed to be more permissive… not every lawman in Ohio is aware of this yet. So putting it in your trunk may avoid some heated discussions. Without a carry permit, people in Indiana can have as many firearms as they like in their home and in their car — it is preferred that no loaded weapons be accessible to the driver unless he/she has a carry permit (this relates, I think to statistical truths concerning the background check). But any adult can be armed without this documentation — it just gets harder to explain your good intentions without going through the process.
Statistically, people who are licensed to carry commit far fewer crimes than those who are not (again, relating back to passing the background check), and even a smaller percentage misbehave who are members of various associations and clubs that foster training, safety, and political awareness of firearm-related issues.
Regardless of who’s statistics you most believe, more than twice as many people use a gun successfully to defend themselves as those who use a gun to misbehave… and also statistically, gun ownership nationally and here in Indiana has exploded, while violent crime has continued to decline.
Though opponents of firearm ownership will point out that ‘Correlation Does Not Imply Causation’, the opposite is also true… in areas where gun ownership has been infringed upon, violent crime increases.
Suicide statistics that imply the presence of firearms contribute to the the number of attempts, will point out a decrease in the use of firearms in suicide deaths when firearms are scarce — however they do not show a decrease in the number of deaths by suicide including all other means (CDC and FBI numbers).
I’ll close with this: If you decided to go down this road, you will find lots of people who want to help you choose hardware and go target shooting — but the most important thing you can acquire is good training — learn the FOUR RULES.
LINK: Apply for a New License to Carry (IN.gov)
LINK: Gun Safety (Wikipedia.org)