In conjunction with signing the bill that requires private property owners to allow certain invitees (employees) to bring guns onto the owners’ property, Gov. Daniels issued a statement that reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of how the Bill of Rights works which, in retrospect, explains quite a bit. (Via Jim Shella):
Considering the clear language of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and the even stronger language of Article 1 Section Thirty-Two of the Indiana Constitution, protecting these rights as provided in HEA 1065 is appropriate. I also am compelled to give great weight to the overwhelming consensus of both Houses of the General Assembly as they passed this bipartisan statute. The law does contain ambiguities that the General Assembly may wish to refine at some future date, to avoid unnecessary litigation, but the understandable concerns raised against the bill do not suffice to justify a trespass on a fundamental right so expressly protected by our founding documents.
This is not a Second Amendment situation. The Bill of Rights limits the power of the Government. It does not limit the power of private individuals. Therefore, passing a law that limits the rights of a private individual to restrict gun possession by another individual on the first person’s land is not a Second Amendment issue. It’s a question of competing property rights – land rights of the land owner versus personal property rights of the gun owner. The General Assembly is expressing a preference for one property right over the other.
The state Constitution has stronger language, but I still don’t think it compels any particular action to prefer one property owner over another:
Section 32. The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State.
With respect to this provision, the Indiana Supreme Court has previously held, “Indiana gun owners are guaranteed the right to bear arms, but this right does not entitle owners to impose on their fellow citizens all the external human and economic costs associated with their ownership.” Estate of Heck ex rel Heck v. Stoffer, 786 N.E.2d 265, 271 (Ind. 2003).
Gov. Daniels misunderstanding of how the law works would be disturbing if I thought it was genuine. But, I’m fairly sure he’s just pandering.