ANDERSON – Legislation that would allow licensed gun owners to have their weapons stored in vehicles on school property passed the Indiana House in a 74-24 vote on Monday.
Senate Bill 229 would also eliminate the use of tax dollars for gun buyback programs. Many communities use federal grant dollars for the purchase of guns to get them off the streets.
The bill was discussed Monday during the Third House session with local legislators at the Anderson Public Library.
Rep. Terri Austin, D-Anderson, said a House bill to allow guns on school property in privately owned vehicles and maybe school buses, didn’t receive a committee vote. She said the proposal was amended into the gun buyback bill.
The bill also forbids school boards to adopt a policy that would have prevented guns on school property.
“I hope the bill is defeated,” Austin said nearly 12 hours before the Monday night vote in the House.
Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, said the proposal should get a full hearing so that lawmakers can hear all the arguments for and against the keeping of guns on school property if locked in a vehicle and the owner has a valid gun permit.
Lanane said he is not opposed to the gun buyback program.
“We hate when the federal government issues mandates for certain programs,” he said. “Now we want to tell local units of government what programs they can implement.”
Lanane and Austin raised concerns about proposed changes in the tax code to benefit businesses, including capping the business personal property tax.
Gov. Mike Pence has proposed eliminating the business personal property tax, which will cost local taxing units $1 billion if implemented.
“The Senate voted to give a huge tax cut for corporations,” Lanane said. “We shouldn’t take further money from local units of government.”