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Indiana Handgun Licenses Would Now Be Eliminated In 2022, Under Committee Change

Lauren Chapman
IPB News

Indiana’s license requirement to carry a handgun in public would now be eliminated in March 2022, instead of July 2021, under a bill passed by a House committee Monday.

The committee pushed back the bill’s timeline in a bid to placate law enforcement agencies.

Law enforcement leaders – including State Police Superintendent Doug Carter – told lawmakers last week that the license system was the only way for frontline police to quickly know whether a person is authorized to carry a handgun in public.

Bill author Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) said pushing back the elimination of the license will give law enforcement more time to develop a new system that tells police who shouldn’t be carrying a handgun.

“For them to make their officers aware and for them to work through some logistics to make it a good change in the law,” Smaltz said.

READ MORE: How Do I Follow Indiana's Legislative Session? Here's Your Guide To Demystify The Process

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But Rep. Terri Austin (D-Anderson) said a few extra months isn’t enough time.

“This is a huge undertaking," Austin said. "Quite honestly, I don’t think it’s possible that it gets done.”

The House Public Policy Committee approved the measure along party lines. The bill is now headed to the full House.

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

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.