I-Team 8

Indiana lawmakers weigh impact of permitless carry law on gun crimes

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department leaders have been vocal about their concerns on the new permitless carry law, which went into effect in July.

However, after the Indiana Crime Gun Task Force reported successful progress, collecting nearly 400 illegal guns in just one year, I-Team 8 asked lawmakers if they believe that progress would continue despite the new law.

State Sen. Jack Sandlin said, “Police work as a constant is always changing. Every day across the country, there are court cases and decisions that are made that change the face of policing, and I don’t see that passing the permitless carry is any different.”

The Republican from Indianapolis says he spent 36 years on a police force. He was a co-author of the Crime Gun Task Force report but also voted in favor of the permitless carry law.

“What we need to do is challenge the Indiana Law Enforcement Training Academy to do some more comprehensive training, and how to affect those stops to be able to capture those guns,” Sandlin said.

This week, Assistant Chief Chris Bailey of IMPD said while the task force has collected over 1,000 illegal guns since their inception four years ago, in the first week the permitless carry law went into effect, police had to let seven guns go in two different traffic stops.

State Sen. Kyle Walker, also a Republican from Indianapolis, said, “I don’t know that we’re going to have any kind of solution. Firearms are just one part of any kind of probable causes that a police officer can use to make an arrest. With permitless carry, you know, that’s largely taken away.”

Walker was a sponsor of the task force, but one of few Senate Republicans to vote against permitless carry. He says he is in favor of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, but saw the new law as something that was going to make police work harder. “With permitless carry, it’s simply a missed opportunity, because they don’t have the ability to seize that gun and put it into the system and do the match.”

Sandlin, on the other hand, believes more training is the key for police knowing how to do the job with the law in place. I-Team 8 asked if Sandlin should push for more money on the task force to go specifically toward police training. “I think that’s going to be up to the agency to decide, you know, where they need to apply that training,” he said. “If there’s opportunities to get warrants to seize guns, I believe that they’re going to do that.”