Earlier this year, Ligonier Post 243 sued the state saying the ban was unconstitutional.
Under the state's current law, fraternal organizations like the Legion must ban smoking if they decide to allow minors inside. The Legion said it shouldn't be forced to choose between allowing minors and allowing smoking.
But this week, the Indiana Attorney General's office sent a notice to the Legion's attorney saying that the smoking ban didn't apply to the post during private hours when only members and their families are allowed. The Attorney General's office says the bar must only be smoke-free during events that are open to the public.
Bryan Corbin, A spokesman for the Indiana Attorney General, released the following statement to WFFT:
"The State's objective in this legal challenge was to successfully defend the anti-smoking statute the Legislature passed and prevent it from being struck down as unconstitutional. After the State argued its legal position through briefs and at a hearing, the plaintiffs and Court requested the State provide a more detailed, specific explanation of how the statute applies to Post 243, which we gave in a letter. The State's legal position is still that Post 243 cannot be both a private place and a public place at the same time. But Post 243 can distinguish members-only events where smoking is allowed from events open to the general public where smoking is prohibited. With no further dispute for the Court to decide, the anti-smoking law remains constitutional. Mindful of the Legislature's efforts to craft this law last session, the Attorney General's Office is willing to work with legislators to ensure that their intent is properly reflected in the statute."