Controversial permitless carry bill sees hours of debate in crowded committee hearing

Controversial permitless carry bill sees hours of debate in crowded committee hearing

INDIANAPOLIS—An Indiana House committee heard Wednesday from supporters and opponents of proposed legislation that would eliminate the requirement of licenses to carry handguns, a proposal that stopped short of passage in the Indiana General Assembly last year. Maj. Robert Simpson represented the Indiana State Police at a House committee meeting Wednesday. He spoke out against HB 1077 due to concerns about gun permit applicants with potential felonies. The room on the fourth floor of the Statehouse was packed to the brim, with more interested attendees from all sides of the argument beginning to line the halls. Committee chairman Rep. Ben Smaltz, R-Auburn, author of House Bill 1077 , said the legislation would “thread the needle” of how to defend oneself under the law and Second Amendment. As of 2022, 21 states have enacted permitless carry of handguns, and none have repealed it. Proponents of the bill said showing a police officer a license to carry and use a gun is not enough to clear oneself of conviction, as felonies can still be committed by law-abiding gun owners. Background checks would still be mandatory for purchasing a gun, and the burden of proof would be on law enforcement to prove whether or not the individual is lawfully carrying a firearm.. Will Fight, director of legislation for Hoosier Gun Rights, a gun rights advocacy group , testified in support of HB 1077 and constitutional carry. Fight described Second Amendment rights as God-given, not “subject to the will of the state.” He […]

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