(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Indiana House has voted to let you carry a gun without a permit.
On a near party-line vote, the House voted 63-29 to join 21 states which have abolished permit requirements to carry handguns. Auburn Representative Ben Smaltz (R) argues permit requirements don’t stop criminals from getting guns, while law-abiding citizens shouldn’t need a permit for a constitutional right.
Indiana repealed the application fee for a permit last year under the same reasoning.
Instead of a permit that says you can carry legally, the bill takes the list of people who would be denied a permit under the current law, and makes it a misdemeanor if they’re caught carrying a gun. That list includes felons, people convicted of domestic violence or stalking, fugitives, minors, illegal immigrants, the mentally ill, people under indictment, and people dishonorably discharged from the military.
Opponents argue it’ll be hard for police to figure that out, while it’s easy to determine whether someone has a permit. Indianapolis Representative Mitch Gore (D), a Marion County sheriff’s deputy, says police need as much information as they can get when they pull someone over, and knowing someone is likely to have a gun is a key piece of data they’ll no longer have.
It’s the second straight year the House has voted to get rid of gun permits — last year’s bill didn’t get a vote in the Senate. The Senate won’t take up House-passed bills until next month.
While permits wouldn’t be required under the bill, you could still apply for one if you expect to need it to travel to a state which does have a permit requirement.