INDIANAPOLIS (WLFI) — Soon Hoosiers could carry a handgun without a license. It all depends on the results of a summer study committee of the Indiana General Assembly, which is taking a look at doing away with the state’s handgun carry license.
Twelve other states do not require a license to carry a handgun. That’s according to Republican State Senator Rod Bray. He’s also chair of the committee hearing the proposed bill.
Bray said some see it as a constitutional right, while others see it as potential danger for police and the community.
“You should always be protected,” said Luisa White of Lafayette. “I think a gun is one way.”
Most people told WLFI they were okay with handguns – when it comes to self-defense.
“People should be able to protect themselves, and people should be allowed to use guns as long as they go about it the correct way,” said James Landrum of Lafayette.
But legislation could change what’s needed to carry a handgun.
The idea concerns Lafayette Police Chief Patrick Flannelly.
“I am adamantly opposed to non-permitted carry,” said Flannelly.
It could also have a financial impact.
Licensing fees help pay for Indiana State Police training and supplies. Without those fees, ISP could lose more than $5 million next year.
“I don’t want the state police to lose a lot of funding over it,” added Landrum. “I think that’s where we get most of our protection from.”
Flannelly said it’s not a good idea because it makes it harder for police to check if someone has a gun legally.
“It just puts our officers and our communities at tremendous risk,” Flannelly explained.
While people like Landrum support the second amendment, he agrees with Flannelly.
“I think they need some sort of showing of why they’re carrying a gun,” Landrum said. “I don’t think they should do it without a license.”
The committee is scheduled to meet again Oct. 12. At that meeting they will decide on a recommendation.