Indiana Legislation Seeks To Eliminate Requirement of a Gun Permit
Indiana Lawmakers Work To Eliminate Gun Permits
Indianapolis, Indiana- Lawmakers in Indiana have high hopes of passing new firearm laws after the Republicans won big in the 2016 election.
A newly proposed bill would seek to eliminate the mandated requirement to have a state issued gun permit to carry a handgun. The bill has received harsh criticism on both sides since its inception.
Gun advocates have long viewed licensing requirements and fees as unnecessary impediments. Supported by the NRA and other advocates of the bill, Republican State Representative Jim Lucas plans to file the controversial bill when lawmakers reconvene in January. “It doesn’t make sense to me to make a lawful person jump through hoops and have to pay the state money so they can exercise their constitutionally protected right,” Lucas said. Supporters believe that the bill is in line with the constitutional right to bear arms and that right shouldn’t be impeded on with fees and licensing requirements.
Lawmakers argue that the current prohibitions on who can carry a handgun, those with domestic violence convictions or who have been involuntarily committed to a mental institution, would remain in place under the new bill. Indiana is currently a “shall issue” state and does not prohibit a person from carrying a concealed firearm in public if the person has a license. The license is issued by the Indiana State Police (ISP) after the applicant has met certain requirements. Roughly 7% of the people who have applied for permits were denied because they were legally ineligible to possess a firearm. Proponents of licensing point out that the thousands of people denied permits each year are people who may have been unaware that they could not legally possess firearms, and the licensing requirement prevented them from breaking the law.
There’s also concern about the loss of funding to police departments. Police departments currently get their firearm budget from licensing application fees. While the loss of money to police departments is disturbing, their funding shouldn’t be reliant on a system which taxes gun owners for exercising their constitutional rights.
If the bill is passed, law enforcement would lose an investigatory tool to determine if somebody is legally carrying their firearm, and it would put them in the same position as other states that don’t have the same strict licensing requirements.
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