On March 18, 2010, Governor Mitch Daniels signed into law a bill allowing most employees in the State to bring weapons onto their employers' property as long as the weapons are kept out of plain sight in locked vehicles. The bill will take effect on July 1, 2010.
In the signing statement accompanying the bill, Governor Daniels acknowledged the broad, bi-partisan support the legislation had received in the Legislature. The Governor also acknowledged and encouraged the Legislature to resolve the bill's ambiguities to avoid unnecessary litigation. Most significantly, however, the Governor's decision to sign the legislation rested in large part on the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the "even stronger language" of Indiana's Constitution, which provides that "The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State." Governor Daniels' complete signing statement follows:
“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.”
In light of this development, many employers will need to revise their current policies and practices to conform with the law by July 1, 2010.