Indiana House votes to allow handguns without permits

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("Ruger LCP .380" by James Case, CC BY 2.0)

The Indiana House has voted to let you carry a gun without a permit.

On a near party-line vote, the House voted 63-29 to join 21 states which have abolished permit requirements to carry handguns. Auburn Representative Ben Smaltz (R) argues permit requirements don’t stop criminals from getting guns, while law-abiding citizens shouldn’t need a permit for a constitutional right.

Indiana repealed the application fee for a permit last year under the same reasoning.

Instead of a permit that says you can carry legally, the bill takes the list of people who would be denied a permit under the current law, and makes it a misdemeanor if they’re caught carrying a gun. That list includes felons, people convicted of domestic violence or stalking, fugitives, minors, illegal immigrants, the mentally ill, people under indictment, and people dishonorably discharged from the military.

Opponents argue it’ll be hard for police to figure that out, while it’s easy to determine whether someone has a permit. Indianapolis Representative Mitch Gore (D), a Marion County sheriff’s deputy, says police need as much information as they can get when they pull someone over, and knowing someone is likely to have a gun is a key piece of data they’ll no longer have.

It’s the second straight year the House has voted to get rid of gun permits — last year’s bill didn’t get a vote in the Senate.

While permits wouldn’t be required under the bill, you could still apply for one if you expect to need it to travel to a state which does have a permit requirement.

11 COMMENTS

  1. This is a horrible misguided idea. I have trained many folks on firearm safety Carrying a firearm is dangerous.
    Even trained responsible folks can have mishaps You can not display nor should you display a firearm without a lot of prior thought on when and how Now I fear many want a be lone rangers will be carrying resulting in accident’s and harm

      • You are much safer when you are surrounded by law abiding armed Citizens. In Indiana, when you enter a store with 100 people in it, more than 10 of them will currently have carry permits. The vast majority of those people will actually be armed. Have you ever had a problem with law abiding gun owners? Did you even know they were there?

        Permits are one more hoop used by the state to discourage the law abiding Citizens from carrying a firearm, they don’t make you safer in any way, shape, or form.

        Stop panicking.

    • If you have really trained many people on firearm safety, then you’d know that training is not a part of the requirements for a handgun in Indiana. You’d also know that nothing dire has happened in the 21 states that have already implemented this.

      Citizens should not need permission to exercise Constitutional rights. Would you get a permit for free speech? A permit to plead the 5th? A license to avoid unreasonable search and seizure? Of course not, it’s a silly idea.

      Just like gun permits are.

    • The idea of Constitutional Carry is neither horrible or misguided. The fear that responsible law-abiding citizens will turn into trigger happy vigilantes is unfounded with zero supporting data.

      I will agree that carrying a firearm does involve inherent danger. Life itself, often involves risk.

      Displaying, or brandishing your weapon is a serious topic that should be addressed from a tactical and legal perspective.

      In the end, regardless of what you or I feel or fear, the right to bare arms is a constitutional right. We should not need permission to exercise our rights.

    • There is no training requirement now. Your premise, if valid, should allow you to provide us with all kinds of cases in Indiana where “lone rangers carrying resulting in accidents and harm” so please provide us with documentation. Take your time. We’ll wait.

      Where did you get certified as a trainer? My Google Fu came back blank on you as a firearms instructor.

  2. Stop conflating the law abiding citizens with criminals and projecting one’s own fears and irresponsibility on others:
    For decades, Hoosiers and really all Americans have been listening to alarmists predict blood in the streets every time legislators introduce a bill to enable greater freedom for law-abiding gun owners.
    The predictions have NEVER come true.
    And now that Indiana is considering permit-less carry, or “constitutional carry,” the alarmists are at it again.
    Once again, they’re wrong.
    Carrying a firearm without a license is a proven concept. It’s already the law in 21 states, including our neighboring states West Virginia and Kentucky. In addition, 34 states, including Ohio, allow open carry without a license.
    Opponents say Constitutional would empower criminals to carry guns or engage in dangerous behavior. That is false.
    It merely makes licensing optional.
    Those who are prohibited from buying and possessing guns would continue to be prohibited.
    Criminals carry anyway despite the laws on the books. Only the Law-abiding obey the laws.
    Areas that are currently off-limits for firearms, such as school zones and posted private property, would continue to be off-limits. And the standard for use of lethal force in self-defense would not change.
    A study released by the American College of Surgeons in 2018 examined the relationship between violent crime and concealed-carry laws. The researchers analyzed data from the U.S. Department of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from all 50 states spanning 30 years.
    They concluded that there is “… no statistically significant association between the liberalization of state level firearm carry legislation over the last 30 years and the rates of homicides or other violent crime.”
    Why? Because for the most part, violent crime is not perpetrated by average gun owners. It is perpetrated by a small number of criminals who ignore gun control laws.
    In October of 2021, a study conducted by the National Network for Safe Communities, confirming that “… a relatively few individuals, many of them young people involved in gangs, drive much of the lethal violence … typically a fraction of individuals are behind half of the homicides” And these criminals are already prohibited by law from possessing firearms. If we want to both reduce crime and respect citizens’ right to defend themselves and their families, it’s time to make the burdensome and expensive licensing process optional for concealed carry and to demand that cities enforce current laws against those who actually commit violent crimes.
    Criminals should pay the price for their illegal activities, not law-abiding Hoosiers who legally own and carry firearms.

  3. Training should absolutely be mandatory for buying a gun. Permits…no, but training yes. Thats not asking too much from those who want to carry. Neither will stop criminals though. Its a huge burden on law enforcement now and without their support, this bill will never come to fruition anyway.

    • The problem is, a lot of “blue” states and cities use the training requirement as an expensive and exclusionary deterrent to prevent people from exercising their #2A rights. State law forces them to issue permits, so they deny them with “training requirements” instead.

      Training is a wonderful thing, but let’s not give government another tool to use in their war against people’s rights.

    • You just exercised a constitutional right. 1A let you post that. I think training should be necessary for you to be able to comment here. I don’t think you should have to pay for a permit, but you should have to pass a certified course of detailed instruction before you can comment publicly.

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