Constitutional carry bill advances to full IN House

According to Smaltz, Indiana is already behind 21 other states that implement lawful carry on...
According to Smaltz, Indiana is already behind 21 other states that implement lawful carry on behalf of its citizens.(Indiana House Republicans)
Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 12:56 PM EST
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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WPTA) - A bill that would allow many Hoosiers to carry handguns without first obtaining a permit will now advance to the full Indiana House after committee approval Wednesday.

The constitutional carry bill, HB 1077, was introduced Tuesday. It specifies that those who are not otherwise prohibited from carrying or possessing a handgun are not required to obtain or possess a license or permit from the state to carry a handgun in state lines.

Bill author State Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) said the bill would not change the process to legally purchase a gun, and Hoosiers would still need to complete the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives form and be approved by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. He said this ensures only eligible buyers legally purchase handguns.

However, critics say requiring permits helps police know what they’re dealing with in certain high-risk traffic stops.

House Minority Leader Rep. Phil GiaQuinta (D) said he doesn’t think the bill is a good idea: “Permits are also helpful to law enforcement to make sure that they’re able to adequately do their job, for their own safety, for the safety of the folks that they’re pulling over, so it’s... I think it’s a bad idea,” GiaQuinta said.

The bill would also enhance the penalty for theft of a firearm from a Level 6 felony to a Level 5 felony, which carries a sentence of between 1 to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The legislation now moves to the full Indiana House for further consideration.

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