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Permitless carry bill takes a step forward in state legislature

(Photo supplied/ABC 57)

A bill that would allow Hoosiers to carry a handgun without a license has taken a step forward in the state legislature.

An Indiana House committee voted to advance a constitutional carry bill to the full House Wednesday, after hearing in lots of testimony from several Hoosiers, organizations, and even law enforcement officers both for and against the bill.

“Our state has a gun violence problem,” said Shortridge High School student El’ad Nichols-Kaufman. “When faced with a problem like this we need to take steps and work to solve the problem. This bill would do the exact opposite, and make the situation exponentially worse.”

Under the bill, the state’s current gun licensing process would essentially be eliminated. Licenses would still be issued by the state, but the long process towards obtaining it would be done away with.

It would also allow people from outside the state who do not have an Indiana license to carry their handguns anyway.

Supporters, like Corrine Youngs with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, said the bill brings Indiana more in line with other states and that it allows people more freedom to exercise their second amendment rights by “removing red tape” in the process of getting a gun.

“Currently there are 21 states that have permitless carry of handguns,” Kelly Myers, another supporter of the bill, said. “20 previously had licensing requirements. Zero have reinstated it.”

Supporters also believe the bill would cut down on officer-involved shootings.

Maj. Rob Simpson with Indiana State Police was among the contingent of law enforcement officers to testify against the bill. He said it would make their job harder to find people who are carrying illegally.

“There’s not a prohibitor database,” Simpson said. “There’s not a way for the individual on the side of the road because it’s not applicable to run a triple I. And that information will not be readily available.”

He also spoke on how their current system has kept thousands of people from obtaining a gun permit who shouldn’t have one.

“We have a system in place right now, wherein last two years, it has located 10,000 rejections,” he said. “Most of those, the highest reason for those rejections, was a felon applying for a permit.”

The bill will be considered on the House floor soon. A similar bill passed the Indiana House last year but stalled in the State Senate.

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DAVID ALAN KRIEGEL January 7, 2022 at 8:29 am

Very very very BAD idea. Carrying a firearm without extensive physical, legal and mental training on when you may use a firearm is crazy. You are not the Lone Ranger when you carry a gun. I tell folks once you display a firearm you are in for a world of hurt. Nothing good is going to happen. If you shoot someone PTSD, remorse, perhaps legal charges OR if they take the gun from you because you freeze ??

Charles U Farley January 7, 2022 at 8:58 am

Normally you and I are aligned on issues, but I think you are wrong on this one. Indiana doesn’t require any training to get a license to carry, just money and red tape.

In states that DO have training, it’s often intentionally onerous and expensive to deter citizens from being able to exercise their #2A rights.

I encourage private individuals to seek out professional instruction, and to practice often. Letting the government control that process is a path to suppression of those very rights. Look at how hard it is to get a license to carry in some of the deep blue cities and states…

Thor January 7, 2022 at 9:44 pm

Agree with Charles…

Jim woods January 7, 2022 at 8:47 am

As a legal gun owner i have to agree.

Charles U Farley January 7, 2022 at 9:00 am

I’m sorry sir, can you please show me your free speech permit? You just exercised a Constitutional right by posting on the internet, and we need to make sure that you got permission from your betters in the government before you posted that.

It’s for your own good, you see…

RH January 7, 2022 at 9:33 am

I would think the checks they do when you buy a gun would help sort out who should not be able to buy one. Responsible gun buyers should be required to take at least beginner classes (not online). Perhaps even lose the state requirement and replace it with proof of gun classes. Remember, criminals and bad people always find a way to get guns. I get why police are against this and it has to be unbelievably difficult for them. There are arguments to be made both ways, but also alternatives that would help.

Charles U Farley January 7, 2022 at 10:12 am

I don’t get why it would make it difficult for police. Instead of running a check for a permit, run a triple I. Got a felony? Got a domestic violence conviction? Arrest them for carrying as an “improper person”. There is literally no need for a permit.

Also, bear in mind that classes and training are used in many places as a means of denying citizens access to their rights. The classes aren’t designed for safety, but are instead designed to prevent law abiding people from carrying a gun.

Slacker06 January 7, 2022 at 12:04 pm

Those police officers against the Constitutional Carry Bill conveniently forget that the felons illegally possessing and carrying never bother to get a background check and are carrying anyway. How do they sort them out as opposed to honest Law-abiding citizens exercising their Constitutional rights to self protection??? Convicted felons and many convicted of certain misdemeanors are PROHIBITED by law from even touching a firearm let alone possessing or carrying one around in public. The problem for these anti-law/constitutional cops is there is a required presumption of innocence they want to ignore when it comes to the law abiding. Around 1.7 million times each year the law abiding defend themselves from criminals using their firearms.

Mr. Kriegel is projecting his faults on everyone else. All democrats are adept at such psychological projection. Hey David, if you don’t want to own or carry a gun no one is demanding you do so. You are extremely unlikely to ever be harmed by a legal concealed carrier. In fact, statistics show one such just might save your life. Thank you very much!

Slacker06 January 7, 2022 at 12:08 pm

Besides, the hue and cry has gone out in 21 other states while considering Constitutional Carry. NONE of the perceived dangers have come to pass. Why would Hoosiers be any different? Hint: They are NOT.

Stocks January 8, 2022 at 10:20 am

Maybe clarification of SB 14, Firearms Matters might help. This bill was authored by Senators Tomes, Brown, and Doriot.

This bill codifies the lawful carry of handguns and comes at a time when the essential right of self-defense has never been more important.

There are currently 21 States with permit-less/no license carry of handguns. Those who opposed such legislation predicted dire consequences, as they do for any bill remotely considered Pro-2nd Amendment and Pro-Article 1, Section 32 of the Indiana Constitution. Observation shows this is not the case, as does data from FBI Uniform Crime Reporting. This is further proved by the fact that no State which has repealed its handgun licensing scheme, has re-instated it because it drove an increase in criminal activity. Put simply: the law-abiding don’t commit crimes. Criminals commit crimes and are undeterred by licensing schemes.

SB 14 does not change the definition of “proper person” that currently exists, nor does it make it lawful to possess a firearm when an individual is currently a prohibited possessor.

Over the past decade Indiana has passed a number of Pro-2nd Amendment and Pro-Article 1, Section 32 bills into law. These include: the law forbidding the prohibition of firearms stored in vehicles in employer’s parking lots (2010), the firearms law preemption statute (2011), and the strengthening of the language and due process protections under the “Laird Law”, and “Church Carry” (2019). Again, the dire consequences predicted by those who oppose any law that supports the Right to Keep and Bear Arms simply did not happen.

As Hamilton County Sheriff Dennis Quakenbush stated in testimony supporting this type of legislation, “Calling 911 shouldn’t be Plan A for your self-defense.” The essential right of self-defense does not stop at the property line.


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