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Indiana lawmaker's bill that would get rid of existing laws requiring a license to carry a gun

Posted at 11:26 PM, Dec 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-29 10:56:21-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- An Indiana lawmaker is proposing a bill that would allow Hoosiers to carry a handgun without a license. 

State Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, said there is a large increase in the number of people who are applying for a license to carry a handgun – both in Indiana and across the nation.

He said the application process is “burdensome” and something gun owners shouldn’t have to do.

State law currently requires a person to have a license in order to carry a handgun in their car or on themselves. That would change under Lucas’ bill. As a result, several Class A and Class B misdemeanors would also be eliminated.

"The state of Indiana is forcing people who are going to get this license anyway, they're forcing them to jump through hoops and pay a fee to the state to prove their innocence and that's wrong," said State Rep. Jim Lucas. 

But how do you balance gun rights with public safety? That's an issue Edmond Smith with Hoosiers Concerned about Gun Violence said he's concerned about. 

"None of the gun organizations are against the second amendment all they're struggling for is to try to get some reasonable laws in place for public safety," said Edmonds.

Some believe the "Constitutional Carry" plan is financially motivated. 

Lucas says it is, but not in the way that most believe. He believes his bill will help adults who may want to carry a weapon but can't afford the licensing fees and it could save gun owners up to $5 million. 

The state fee for handgun licenses runs from $10 for four years to $50 for a lifetime license. A portion of the money collected from those application fees goes into the state’s general fund. 

"I don't think it's right for the state of Indiana to license a constitutionally protected right," said Lucas. 

The final draft of the bill is still being prepared and will be submitted in the coming weeks so that it can receive a bill number. 

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