TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Just days are left in the 2014 Indiana legislative session.
A controversial bill allowing people to keep guns locked in parked cars on school property remains under fire.
The House approved the measure last week in a 74-24 vote.
Local representatives continue to debate the pros and cons.
“When I go to school to drop my children off, I’m not somehow becoming a felon. I’m simply protecting myself, protecting my family, and I have the right under the Constitution of the United States to do so,” says Representative Alan Morrison, District 42.
Representative Morrison shares a personal story with WabashValley voters when voicing his support for Senate Bill 229.
The bill allows those with a concealed carry permit to keep their gun locked and hidden in their car in school parking lots.
It would remain a felony offense to have a weapon in school buildings or in the open in parking lots.
“If you exit your vehicle and go into the school you’re not breaking the law. Currently, if that were to happen you automatically become a felon,” says Morrison.
Representative Kreg Battles expresses his opposition to the bill, also drawing on his personal experience, as a teacher.
“I know the number of times we have parental disputes, and divorce, or child custody that spill into our schools,” says Battles.
Opponents point to tragedies like Sandy Hook, and school shootings saying this bill opens a dangerous door.
“It could be a basketball game, a football game, to think we would legally say that sub 21 year olds fresh out of school that might have issues with other students to bring a gun on campus. I think you’re playing with fire,” says Battles.
“If that kid wants to go there and cause somebody harm a law is not going to stop him or make it any easier,” says Morrison.
The bill also would prohibit students from having weapons in parked cars, unless they are members of a school gun clubs and have written permission from principals.
Supporters say the bill intends to protect law abiding citizens.
“You don’t have to relinquish your second amendment rights simply because you are dropping your children off at school,” says Morrison.
“I think it is a recipe for disaster,” says Battles.
The bill is up for debate tomorrow by joint House and Senate Conference Committees.
If passed, Indiana would be the 24th state to allow firearms in safe school zones.