Entries in Indiana Senate Bill 1 (3)
Indiana General Assembly, Governor Mitch Daniels Stand Firm for Hoosier Civil Liberties as Misinformation Campaign Continues
lease Thank Governor Daniels, Senate and House Leadership, and Senate Bill 1’s Authors and Sponsors for their Dedication to Protecting the Civil Liberties of ALL Hoosiers
On March 9, the Indiana General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to reaffirm lawful Hoosiers’ civil liberties disregarded by last year’s state Supreme Court decision, Barnes v. State of Indiana (2011). On Tuesday, March 20, Governor Mitch Daniels signed Senate Bill 1 into law, reaffirming constitutional rights and the rule of law in Indiana.
Overturning the effects of the Barnes decision was no easy task, especially when bloggers launched a vicious smear campaign that grievously misrepresented the bill language. This resulted in a severely misinformed public, including many rank-and-file law enforcement officers.
SB 1 was supported by the Indiana Sheriffs’ Association, Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council, Indiana Public Defender Council and Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller. That such law enforcement and legal entities joined together to support SB 1 speaks to the bill’s integrity as a law which protects both the rights of lawful citizens and law enforcement officers.
Prosecuting attorneys and public defenders alike testified that SB 1 reads nearly word-for-word identical to the Castle Doctrine language that passed overwhelmingly in both legislative chambers and was signed into law in 2006. Both groups acknowledged that the only change in SB 1 from this Castle Doctrine law is an added protection for police officers that did not exist in the 2006 law.
Several members of the Indiana General Assembly deserve our appreciation for their particular steadfastness in protecting Hoosiers’ civil liberties. If not for the dedicated efforts by state Senator Brent Steele (R-44), who began the entire process by chairing a summer study committee to study the methods by which to fix the court's decision, the bill author, state Senator Michael Young (R-35) and House sponsor, state Representative Jud McMillin (R-68), Indiana self-defense law and Fourth Amendment rights would not have been properly reaffirmed this year.
Additionally, state Representatives Greg Steuerwald (R-40) – Rep. McMillin’s second House conferee on the final version of the bill -- and Ryan Dvorak (D-8) worked closely with Rep. McMillin to craft the critical House amendment which merited endorsement by the NRA and the above legal and law enforcement entities. The House amendment received critical backing on the Senate floor from Senators Brent Steele, Randy Head (R-18), Travis Holdman (R-19) and Jim Buck (R-21). Senator Mike Delph (R-29) served as the second Senate conferee with author Mike Young.
The NRA would especially like to thank Senate President David Long (R-16) and House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-88) for their leadership and support in seeing the bill through the entire process.
Senate Bill 1 passed in the state Senate 38 to 12; the Indiana House passed it by a 67 to 26 vote.
In his signing statement released Wednesday morning, Governor Mitch Daniels stated, "contrary to some impressions, the bill strengthens the protection of Indiana law enforcement officers by narrowing the situations in which someone would be justified in using force against them."
Governor Daniels went on to explain, "So as a matter of law, law enforcement officers will be better protected than before, not less so." This act took effect immediately upon the Governor’s signature. To view the Governor’s statement, please click here.
The National Rifle Association would like to express its sincerest thanks to all who supported this legislation and stood up for the civil liberties of Indiana citizens, and would encourage you to do the same.
Please click here to read some important factual information about Senate Bill 1.
Contact Your State Senator TODAY and Urge a Clean Vote of Concurrence
Today, by a 74 to 24 vote, the state House of Representatives passed critical Castle Doctrine legislation that would return hundreds of years of common law and civil liberties protections to Hoosiers. As previously reported, this legislation became necessary after a disastrous state Supreme Court decision last May concluded that public policy did not favor the longstanding and widely recognized right of an individual to resist an illegal trespass by a police officer, a right that had also been recognized by state statute.
Residents of Indiana were outraged last spring when the state Supreme Court ruled in Barnes v. State of Indiana (2011) that force against a police officer in such circumstances could never be justified. This activist court decision created a dangerous carve-out from self-defense rights by prohibiting use of defensive force by a person even in the unlikely case of a violent, unjustified attack by an officer acting completely outside his lawful duties. No one supports our nation's law enforcement officers more strongly than the NRA, and it is with this view in mind that the NRA has supported attempts to fix the precedent set in Barnes that violated the civil liberties of all residents of Indiana.
Until the Barnes decision, the touchstone of the law of self-defense (in Indiana and elsewhere) was reasonable good faith action in response to a reasonably perceived threat of illegal action or harm. Contrary to some reports, the reasonable person standard does not protect those whose actions are motivated by malice, criminal intent, or abnormal sensitivity or paranoia.
Senate Bill 1, authored by state Senator Michael Young (R-35) and sponsored by state Representative Jud McMillin (R-68), is the product of much discussion and debate on this matter. The Indiana General Assembly has worked for months on refining this legislation, which would re-affirm the Castle Doctrine in Indiana and allow law-abiding and reasonable people the right to a legal defense if ever they find themselves in such a position. The NRA has remained involved throughout this legislative process in order to protect these fundamental self-defense rights of law-abiding citizens in Indiana.
Before final passage today, thanks to NRA members’ communication to state Representatives, the House adopted a critical amendment by Representative Jud McMillin that would restore recognition of self-defense rights to the levels that existed pre-Barnes. The language contained in the amendment specifically preserves the legitimate safety interests of law enforcement officials who act within the boundaries of the law. Representative McMillin’s amendment to SB 1 effectively undoes the damage to the Fourth Amendment and the rights of Hoosiers caused by Barnes, and returns Indiana’s Castle Doctrine and self-defense protections to their pre-Barnes status.
Senate Bill 1 now returns to the Senate for its approval of the McMillin amendment. The Senate could simply vote to concur with this amendment, or send SB 1 to a conference committee where the legislation risks further changes, complications and attempts by opponents to erode your civil liberties.
Your state Senator NEEDS to hear from you TODAY to vote to concur on SB 1. Time is running out as the legislative session comes to a close, and it is crucial that the Senate concurs with the House amendment to protect Hoosiers’ civil liberties.
Contact information for your state Representative can be found by clicking here.