On Monday the Indiana House voted to pass House Bill 1369, which eliminates the requirement of a license to carry a handgun in the state.
House Bill 1369, which passed the House by a 65-31 vote and now goes to the Senate, repeals a law that requires a person to obtain a license to carry a handgun in Indiana, according to the Indianapolis Star. It allows any person who is lawfully able to carry and possess a firearm to do so without a government-issued permit or license. The bill specified that certain felons could still be prohibited from carrying handguns. Police argued that eliminating the screening process would put more guns on the street, making communities less safe. “I think we are all very strong supporters of the second amendment,” said Lafayette Police Chief Patrick Flannelly with the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police. “By repealing processes like this that are good screening mechanisms, we are going to put more guns out on the street, and there are going to be people that should not be carrying them will be carrying them.”
Supporters of the bill, however, say that the permit process punishes law-abiding citizens and residents shouldn’t have to pay for a right guaranteed by the Second Amendment. “Anything that can make things easier for somebody who is a law-abiding citizen is always something that I think I’m going to try to support,” said Indianapolis gun owner Eric Housman, according to FOX 59 of Indianapolis. “This bill is for the lawful citizens in the state of Indiana,” said bill author Rep. Ben Smaltz, a Republican. “This bill is for the person who obeys our laws who right now has to jump over the hurdles to be the person that gets the permit.” Opponents worry that it would be difficult for police to identify quickly whether that person is allowed to carry the handgun and check on those who aren’t. However, the bill would require the State Police and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to develop a process that would allow law enforcement to quickly verify whether someone is prohibited from carrying a handgun.
House Bill 1369 says “Provides that the following must develop a process that allows law enforcement officers the ability to quickly access information about whether a person is a prohibited person who may not knowingly or intentionally carry a handgun: (A) The state police department; (B) The bureau of motor vehicles; (C) Local law enforcement agencies; and (D) Any other state entity with access to information related to persons who may not knowingly or intentionally carry a handgun.” This bill would also require a free 5-year fee for reciprocity licenses and a $75 for lifetime reciprocity licenses. Supporters of the Second Amendment view this as a victory or at least temporary as it aligns with the constitutional right of the people to keep and bear arms. The bill would eliminate the license in March 2022.
ARTICLE: EMANUELI TANAHASHI
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: WFYI