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House Republicans try again to eliminate Indiana's handgun license requirement

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Justin Hicks
/
IPB News
Those in favor of eliminating the need for a handgun license say proposed legislation to do so is about protecting a constitutional right

House Republicans are trying again to eliminate Indiana’s license requirement to carry a handgun in public.

Legislation to do so – HB 1077 – passed a House committee along party lines Wednesday.

Similar bills have come up before, even passing the House last year before dying in the Senate. And the arguments on either side haven’t changed.

Those in favor of eliminating the need for a handgun license, like attorney and gun rights advocate Guy Relford, said the bill is about protecting a constitutional right.

“If you already have that right, you shouldn’t have to go beg the government for permission to exercise that right,” Relford said.

But those opposed to the bill, like gun regulation advocate Becca McCracken, said Indiana has a gun violence epidemic.

“And we don’t need more people carrying concealed guns in parks, shopping malls, crowded town centers and on city streets without any vetting,” McCracken said.

Law enforcement groups, including the Indiana State Police, Chiefs of Police and Fraternal Order of Police, remain against the bill. They said the license system is the best way for officers in the field to quickly know who is allowed to carry a handgun.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.