GUEST COMMENTARY: Gun buy-back legislation offers best practices

2014-01-31T00:00:00Z GUEST COMMENTARY: Gun buy-back legislation offers best practicesBy Jim Tomes
January 31, 2014 12:00 am  • 

I was disappointed to read Rich James' recent column, “Sen. Tomes pistol-whips gun control.” His column was rife with error and made attacks on my personal character. It’s discouraging that this type of reporting passes as journalism today.

Though I’m hesitant to dignify his comments with a response, I want to make sure you get the correct facts.

In regard to James' claim that I authored legislation “allowing all Hoosiers to carry a concealed handgun without a license,” this is simply not true. Senate Bill 506, which I authored in 2011, would have allowed only qualified gun owners to carry concealed firearms in limited circumstances, consistent with our 2nd Amendment rights.

Also, by no means did I sponsor legislation “requiring all public school teachers to recite the Lord's Prayer on a daily basis.” My legislation would have allowed — not required — teachers and students to recite this prayer in the classroom because I believe it should be up to the local school communities to decide what’s best for its students. It also included a clear opt-out provision for students who did not wish to participate.

Furthermore, the reason I am sponsoring Senate Bill 229 this year is because it makes sense financially. It was certainly not driven by any organization. So again James' assumptions are inaccurate.

Local law enforcement agencies waste money buying firearms, and then selling them for scrap or having them destroyed. To me and my colleagues who supported this bill, it makes more sense for law enforcement to sell these guns to people lawfully allowed to own them and get back what these firearms are actually worth.

This bill is a best practice model that would benefit all involved parties. It’s a win-win for law enforcement agencies, who could use extra revenue, and for responsible gun owners.

Though these distinctions I've pointed out may seem small, they dramatically change the intent of these bills. I urge James to get his facts straight on important issues affecting Hoosiers.

Ultimately, my job as a state senator is to dutifully represent the views and opinions of my constituents, and I take that job very seriously. My beliefs in defending our Constitution and liberty are shared by many Hoosiers in my district and across the state. I will continue to represent these beliefs in the General Assembly.

State Sen. Jim Tomes, R-Wadesville, represents the 49th District. The opinions are the writer's.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Featured Businesses

Submit a Letter to Editor

We welcome letters from readers on any issue of public interest, and make every effort to publish as many as we can and in a timely manner. The Times will publish only one letter a month from a writer, and be sure to include your name, address and a telephone number for verification. Letters should be 150 words or less. They will be edited.

Letters may be submitted:
  • Via our submission form.
  • Via e-mail.
  • Via fax: (219) 933-3249 or (219) 465-7298
  • Via mail or by hand to our offices:
    • 601 45th Ave., Munster, IN 46321
    • 2080 N. Main St., Crown Point, IN 46307
    • 1111 Glendale Blvd., Valparaiso, IN 46383
    • 3410 Delta Dr., Portage, IN 46368
    • Please mark envelopes with "Attn: Letters"


Email Editorial Page Editor Doug Ross or call (219) 548-4360 or (219) 933-3357



How would you characterize race relations in the region?

View Results