Republican lawmakers poised to resurrect elimination of Indiana handgun carry permits
House and Senate lawmakers appear poised to perform a resurrection act with legislation that eliminates Indiana’s handgun carry permits.
A Senate committee late Wednesday gutted the bill after eight hours of testimony and debate. But Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) said that change violated Senate rules, forcing him to stop HB 1077 from moving forward in the Senate.
However, Bray said the House and Senate will look for a new landing spot for the bill’s original language, which would eliminate the requirement to get a license to carry a handgun.
“And then debate it here on the floor of the Senate, debate it over in the House and see if it can move,” Bray said.
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There’s no indication yet which bill the handgun language will be moved into.
Advancing the permit carry elimination goes against the wishes of the majority of law enforcement in Indiana, highlighted during Wednesday's committee hearing. Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter sharply criticized Republicans, saying they were acting out of political concerns and not in the interest of public safety.
Both Bray and House Speaker Todd Huston expressed disappointment in Carter's comments.
"Our caucuses are the same caucuses that provided record funding for State Police," Huston said. "Our caucuses are the same caucuses that ... made improvements to the Law Enforcement Academy."
Senate Democratic Leader Greg Taylor said Republicans should heed Carter's words.
"Law enforcement was there, the blue was there last night," Taylor said. "And for a party that always talks about Democrats being against blue, they were totally against law enforcement."
The 2022 legislative session is set to end no later than March 14.
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