The Indiana House voted Monday to eliminate the license to carry a firearm in the state, an apparent victory, at least temporary, for supporters of Second Amendment gun rights.
House Bill 1369, which passed the House 65-31 and is now headed to the Senate, repeals a law that requires a person to obtain a license to carry a firearm in Indiana, according to the Indianapolis Star.
It allows anyone who can legally carry and possess a firearm to do so without a government-issued permit or license, according to reports. The bill specified that some criminals could be prohibited from carrying firearms.
Supporters of the bill argue that the permitting process punishes law-abiding citizens and residents should not have to pay for a right guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
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“Anything that can make things easier for someone who is a law-abiding citizen is always something that I think I’m going to try to support,” Indianapolis gun owner Eric Housman said, according to FOX 59 of Indianapolis.
Police, however, argued that eliminating the screening processes would put more guns on the streets, making communities less safe.
“I think we all strongly support the Second Amendment,” said Lafayette Police Chief Patrick Flannelly of the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police. “By repealing processes like this, which are good control mechanisms, we are going to take more weapons to the streets and there will be people who should not carry them, they will carry them.”
Currently, to apply for a new Indiana license to carry a firearm, you must be 18 years of age or older, register online, schedule an appointment to be fingerprinted, and complete local law enforcement processing. within 180 days.
“This bill is for legal citizens in the state of Indiana,” said Republican Rep. Ben Smaltz, author of the bill. “This bill is for the person who obeys our laws and who right now has to overcome the obstacles to be the person who gets the permit.”
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Of the more than 120,000 applicants for firearms licenses in 2020, nearly 4% were denied, according to state data. Flannelly said his department denied 55 people from obtaining transportation permits last year based on their background checks.
“We are going to remove a tool from our law enforcement officers to help make communities safer and actually help keep our police officers safer,” he told the station.
The licenses raise $ 5.3 million per year to train local law enforcement officers, and taxpayers will be forced to partially pay the bill, the newspaper reported.
Critics also argue that it will not be easy for the police to verify if someone can carry a firearm. or control those who try to charge when they aren’t supposed to, according to the Indianapolis Star.
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The bill would eliminate the license in March 2022.