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(INDIANAPOLIS) – Self-defense protections would extend to lawsuits under a bill headed for Governor Holcomb.

The bill gives you immunity from being sued if you shoot someone who’s committing a violent crime. If a prosecutor doesn’t file criminal charges, a lawsuit would have to persuade a judge at the outset that there’s a good reason to sue you anyway. Seymour Representative Jim Lucas (R) says the bill was prompted in part by a 2017 case of a woman honored by her local police department for shooting someone who pulled a gun on an officer, but is still trying to fend off a lawsuit.

Indianapolis Representative Ed DeLaney (D) warns it’s unprecedented to equate a decision not to charge someone with proof that the use of force was justified. And Indianapolis Senator Greg Taylor (D) complains the immunity law means people have more protection than cities have from being sued over the use of deadly force.

The bill also abolishes the fee for gun licenses, except for lifetime licenses. And it carves out an exception to Indiana’s gun-free school law. Indianapolis Senator Jack Sandlin (R) says that law wrongly bans houses of worship which operate schools from allowing guns elsewhere on the property.The bill would allow guns in the church or temple portion of the property, unless the church opts to ban them.

Lucas says the Easter church bombings in Sri Lanka are a reminder that churches are “soft targets.”

(Photo: Marian Vejcik/Thinkstock)