INDIANAPOLIS — Republican state lawmakers are making another attempt to get through a house bill that will no longer require licenses for many gun owners.
“Do you think requiring a license to exercise a constitutional a right is constitutional?” questioned State Representative Jim Lucas before the House Public Policy Committee on Wednesday.
The committee passed the bill following hours of testimony. If the bill becomes law, any eligible Hoosier over the age of 18 will be able to possess or carry a firearm without a license or permit from the state.
The new legislation would still prevent any person from legally obtaining a firearm if they do not pass the current rules in place for gun ownership. For instance, that could be someone who is a convicted felon or a person who has been deemed mentally unfit to own a firearm.
Supporters of the bill say it puts the state more in line with the constitution, however critics argue the bill will only increase gun violence issues in a city that already has record homicide numbers.
“We have a system in place right now, where in last two years, it has located 10,000 rejections, and most of those, the highest reason for those rejections, was a felon applying for permit,” Major Rob Simpson of the Indiana State Police explained in opposition. “In addition to that, there are 2,000 suspended or revoked licenses of individuals who have committed a crime. One of the concerns we have is individuals will not be able to know these in the future. There is not a prohibitor database.”
“It gives Hoosiers an ability to more easily exercise their 2nd amendment right,” said Corrine Youngs in support of the bill. She is with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office. “It removes red tape to carry a firearm, and it also fixes some nuances that allow you to carry a firearm in other states, so we support this bill.”
Now that the state house public policy committee has passed the bill 9-3, it will take a full house vote to put the legislation into action.