Domestic violence victims could arm themselves without needing a permit if bill passes

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- While some victims of domestic violence would be able to possess a gun for 60 days without a permit under a bill debated at the statehouse, opponents argue the last thing a violent home needs is the presence of a firearm.

“In the last report of 100 deaths, 77 separate incidents, 62 out of the hundred were committed with a firearm,” said Laura Berry of the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, citing a recent fatal domestic violence study. “When domestic violence is at an all-time high and the most vulnerable victims of domestic violence reach out and seek orders of protection to help alter or halt that domestic violence that is going on in their home and when it's at the most lethal time is not when we should be infusing additional firearms.”

House Bill 1071 would permit domestic violence victims to arm themselves after receiving a protective order against their abusers.

Guy Relford is a 2nd Amendment attorney and firearms instructor who told members of the House Public Policy Committee that he’s trained hundreds of women to shoot.

“So many of those stories involve women in abusive situations and they’ve made the decision to just not buy a gun but take the next step and come get some training,” Relford testified.  “I hear this story over and over again:  ‘When he saw the gun he went away.’

“What is the purpose of this legislation?” Relford asked.  “It's to prevent those murders. It's to allow women to not become a statistic to be cited in some future hearing. It's for the murder to have never happened in the first place

“We’re talking about crimes that don’t happen because there was a gun involved.”

Wajdi Abendeh carries a gun and said displaying his firearm stopped a potential armed robbery last week.

Abendeh was about to lock up for the night at a West Washington Street cell phone store when he watched two men approach his front door.

“I spotted two individuals covered with masks and gloves and holding what appeared to be a weapon trying to enter the business,” said Abendeh, who released surveillance video of the attempted robbery to FOX59. “I immediately pulled my gun, waved it at them in an effort to keep them away from the business, change their mind, and that worked.

“You have to do your job and since I have my firearm permit I feel safe that I have my gun with me.”

Abendeh has carried a licensed firearm for two years and is a permanent resident on his way to becoming an American citizen.

“I never held a gun in Jordan,” he said. “I never thought of even holding a gun in the states until I realized I have to in this state.”

Abendeh said his bosses approve of his decision to wear a gun in his belt as he supervises stores throughout the metro area.

“I’m a man holding a gun not to shoot people, not to kill people, and thank God I did not. I hold this gun just for my protection and to show people that I have a gun to protect myself and I am able to defend myself.”

Abendeh said he has trained to use his gun by playing video games.

“I was lucky to spot them before they entered into the business and waving that gun and pointing it at them made them realize that this business is off limits for robbing and violating.”

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police continue to investigate a shootout at the Pine Glen Apartments on East Hanna Avenue Monday afternoon as a resident and a home invasion robber were both wounded during an attempted break-in.

Eighteen gun bills are pending before the General Assembly. One would prohibit state colleges and universities from passing rules banning guns on campuses.

The Public Policy Committee will take up debate on House Bill 1071 again next week.