Indiana News

Indiana bill to repeal licenses to carry handguns advances

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A proposal to get rid of the requirement to have a license to carry a handgun has taken another step forward at the Statehouse.

“House Bill 1369 essentially removes the licensing requirement to exercise a constitutional right that we have, to carry a handgun,” said Rep. Jim Lucas, a Republican from Seymour.

Lucas is a co-author of the House bill, which state lawmakers talked about Thursday. The proposal states anyone that is legally allowed to have a gun and would not be required to get a license of permit to carry a gun.

“This is their right, to exercise not just the Second Amendment, but (also) Article 1, Section 32 of our own state Constitution. But when you look at what’s going on right now, gun sales are off the charts for a reason. People are losing faith in their government. We have people right now that are applying for the state-mandated process to get a license, and it’s taking weeks if not months,” Lucas said.

Moms Demand Action is against the measure.

The bill “1369 is not in the best interest of Hoosier safety. We’ve seen skyrocketing gun violence rates in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Gary, Evansville. These are places where we need to be doing everything we can to support gun sense. This bill is the opposite of gun sense. Most gun owners believe you should have a permit to carry in public,” said Jennifer Haan, a Moms Demand Action Indiana Chapter volunteer leader.

Haan said Indiana already has a permitting system that works. “When we remove that permitting system what we’re doing is we’re removing law enforcement’s ability to say, ‘This is a permitted person,’ ‘This is not a permitted person,’ because it’s law enforcement that’s making this final judgement. We believe we should listen to law enforcement.”

Lucas explained who would be eligible under the proposed law. “Not just anybody. Only nonprohibited persons. People that were already, if they were to apply under the current system. People that were eligible for, and were going to get their license anyway. People that are prohibited aren’t going to be allowed to carry. Kids can’t carry guns in schools. This is one of those bills I think we’ve heard it all on.”

The legislation passed the second of three required readings on Thursday. The third reading is on the House calendar for Monday. Monday is the deadline for the third reading of House bills in the House. If approved by the House, the measure would then go to the Senate for review. If both chambers approve, the governor would then decide whether to sign the bill into law.