Up in Arms over Gun Control ; Main Issue at 'Meet Your Legislators' Event

Article excerpt

EVANSVILLE - Gun control was the hot topic at this year's first Meet Your Legislators town hall meeting Saturday morning. The issue drew "a stack of questions" on how the state would respond if the federal government took action to limit an individual's right to own firearms: Does the state's constitution, which upholds a person's right to bare arms, trump a presidential executive order? Will concealed carry laws be challenged?

"I'm an ardent defender of states' rights and individuals' rights," said state Rep. Wendy McNamara. She was one of seven state representatives and senators who addressed the packed Browning Room at Central Library on gun control and other issues.

None of the legislators spoke in favor of restricting gun ownership.

"I don't want to live in a paranoid state," McNamara said. She paused. "But if our rights get eroded, they're very hard to get back."

The audience erupted in applause.

"Our rights are slowly getting eroded by executive order," she concluded.

McNamara and Rep. Thomas Washburne both pointed out Indiana's constitution upholds a person's right to bear arms. They, as state legislators, took an oath to defend the state's constitution, Washburne said.

The recent focus on gun control arose after the shooting at a Connecticut elementary school in December. …