Commission votes to still allow handguns on DNR properties

ANGOLA, Ind. — Gun owners would still be permitted to carry licensed handguns onto Department of Natural Resources land, a state panel has ruled.
Handguns were permitted on all DNR properties under the rule that then-DNR Director Kyle Hupfer made effective in September 2006.

The Indiana Natural Resources Commission on Tuesday approved the regulation that still must be reviewed by the state attorney general and approved by Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Among 400 responses from the public on the rule, those supporting allowing guns in state parks outnumbered those against by a ratio of 3-to-1, the DNR said.

“The DNR points out that individuals opposed to the carrying of handguns in state parks interact, without incident, every day with individuals legally in possession of handguns in public places such as restaurants, grocery stores and shopping malls,” the DNR wrote in recommending the change.

The rule applies to hunters who were barred from bringing handguns when hunting opossum, raccoon and wild turkey. Previously, handguns were only allowed on some state grounds, even then with a special hunting permit. In most cases, guns were required to be secured in a vehicle or locked case.

Shotguns, rifles, archery equipment and any firearm other than validly licensed handguns must still be locked inside vehicles on DNR properties.