She cites news reports of the wide vote margin on the bill and wonders about the priorities of the General Assembly. I don’t know what news reports she saw, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they gave an incomplete account of the bill – focusing primarily or exclusively on the “state rifle” issue.
Looks like this bill was initially concerned with libraries and historic records, making changes to the membership of the library and historical board and revising some of the board’s duties and procedures.
It also changed the historical bureau’s duties with respect to commemorative medallions, specifies certain historical markers as property of the state, added “electronic media” to the definition of public record in the public records law, required the public records commission to coordinate the use of scanning equipment in state government, requires a county commission on public records to implement local government retention schedules, removed the policy that public libraries provide free library services for all individuals, Repealed the law allowing certain township trustees to pay the cost of a library card for certain residents, and made changes to the Class 1 and 2 library law.
Apparently the gun thing didn’t get added until the Senate Committee on Local Government took a look at it. They added a chapter that read:
Sec. 1. The “Grouseland Rifle” made by Colonel John Small of Vincennes, Indiana, between 1803 and 1812 is designated the official rifle of the state of Indiana.
Sec. 2. Any:
(1) duplication or reproduction; or
(2) sale of any duplication or reproduction;
of the “Grouseland Rifle” must be authorized by the Grouseland Foundation of Vincennes, Indiana.
A little historical background: Grouseland was apparently a territorial governor’s mansion in Vincennes, completed in 1804 and named by William Henry Harrison.
According to a Lewis and Clark site:
John Small, who had settled in Vincennes about 1780, had served with William Clark’s older brother, the famous George Rogers Clark, which established his connection with the Clark family. In addition to being a gunsmith, Small was the first sheriff of Vincennes. He served in the first Indiana Territory Legislature, and was a Colonel in the Indiana Militia. He died in 1823.
The site speculates that the Small rifle was with William Clark on his expedition with Meriwether Lewis.
Anyway, while this sort of nonsense isn’t exactly the “emergency” stuff of a short session, I can’t get too indignant about it. If we’re going to have a “state rifle,” this seems like a good one. But I have to wonder how long until we descend into, say, a state paperclip or a state shaving cream.