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Bill that would remove gun permit requirement in Indiana passes in Senate

Posted at 9:41 PM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-08 22:46:00-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A bill that would repeal Indiana's requirement to carry a handgun in public passed Tuesday in the Senate, even after the state police superintendent and police departments voiced opposition.

Senators approved House Bill 1296 30-20 on Tuesday after language from the now-dead original bill — House Bill 1077 had been moved from Senate Bill 209 and then finally into HB 1296.

It was among the final issues heard before the adjournment of this year's legislative session, according to the Associated Press.

Last week, the bill was revived in the Senate after GOP lawmakers moved language from the original bill into the unrelated SB 209.

SB 209 was originally a bill that addressed drug scheduling, but all that language was removed, and replaced with the original HB 1077 language before being moved to HB 1296.

The National Rifle Associated supports the legislation. John Weber, NRA state director in Indiana, released the following statement:

"Hoosiers value their Second Amendment rights, yet under the current regime they are forced to ask the government for extra permission in order to exercise the fundamental right of carrying a firearm for self-defense. The NRA is proud to have played a key role in getting this bill to the governor’s desk and we hope he will sign it."

Meanwhile, Democratic Senators and groups voiced opposition.

Sen. Fady Qaddoura (D-Indianapolis), said, "I am disappointed that the Senate failed to listen to our law enforcement professionals, including State Police Superintendent Doug Carter, on this issue. As we’ve seen rising crime across the state and across the nation, the Senate has considered several pieces of legislation aiming to combat crime. By passing HB 1296, the supermajority seems insistent on exacerbating the issue.”

Mike Schmuhl, Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party, said "This is what the Indiana Democratic Party meant when it said Republicans will put their partisanship before anything else. If the Indiana GOP get their way and sign House Bill 1077 into law, they will ignore the will of voters and state and municipal law enforcement who worry about public safety - all to fulfill an extreme agenda. Whether it’s handing firearms to bad actors, discrediting COVID-19 vaccines, or politicizing classrooms, Indiana Republicans would rather divide families and communities with their partisan culture wars than actually create a better future for Hoosiers."