Indiana House Votes To Allow Citizens To Carry Handguns Without License

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The Indiana House voted Monday to repeal a state law that requires residents to purchase a license or permit in order to purchase a handgun.

House Bill 1369, if passed by the Senate, will allow a person to purchase and carry a handgun without a state license or permit in Indiana, Fox News reported. The bill would still prohibit certain offenders from obtaining and carrying a handgun.

The bill passed the House by a 65-31 vote, Fox News reported. To acquire a handgun in Indiana a resident must be at least 18 years old, have their fingerprints taken and complete processing through a local law enforcement agency.

“The bill is for the lawful citizen in the state of Indiana,” said Republican Rep. Ben Smaltz who authored the bill. “This bill is for the person who obeys our laws who right now has to jump over hurdles to be the person who gets the permit.”

Indiana State Police oppose the bill and have argued that allowing citizens to obtain a gun without screening puts communities and police at greater risk, the Indianapolis Star reported.

“I think we are all very strong supporters of the second amendment. 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,” Lafayette Police Chief Patrick Flannelly told Fox 59, Fox News reported.

Since licensing fees will no longer be required, law enforcement could lose $5.3 million by 2023 if the bill passes, the Star reported. Taxpayers will have to make up for shortfalls in licensing revenues if the bill is passed.

In 2020, 4,995 gun license applicants in Indiana were rejected, according to Indiana State Police data. The data recorded 1,046,974 active gun licenses in the state.

If passed, the bill would go into effect March 2022, Fox News reported.

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