An Indiana state lawmaker will reportedly introduce legislation soon that would eliminate the need for a permit to carry a sidearm, according to a story in the News and Tribune in Jeffersonville.
State Rep. Jim Lucas, a Seymour Republican, told the newspaper that Indiana, like the rest of the country, is “seeing record numbers of gun purchases.” As the story noted, gun owners might wonder why they need a background check to get a carry permit when they’ve already completed a check to purchase a firearm.
Indiana is one of the Top 10 states for concealed carry per capita, with nearly 754,000 permits in circulation as of last October, the newspaper said.
If Lucas is successful and the legislation passes, Indiana would join a small number of states with what Second Amendment activists generically call “Constitutional Carry.” That is, carrying a sidearm opening or concealed in a peaceable manner without a license or permit.
Indiana is a “shall issue” state where other carry licenses/permits are honored.
Not everyone is on board with the idea. The newspaper quoted at least one licensed gun owner who thinks that having a permit “keeps people honest.”
According to the newspaper, Rep. Lucas acknowledged that no longer requiring a permit could cost the state about $5 million annually that is used for law enforcement training. However, he observed that such training should not be funded by “licensing of a constitutional right.”
Coincidentally, the Indiana report comes at the same time that the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (H.R. 38) has been introduced by Congressman Richard Hudson (R-NC). This measure would accomplish what President-elect Donald Trump suggested on the campaign trail, by allowing people with a carry license/permit issued by their home state to carry in all other states that allow concealed carry. The National Rifle Association supports the idea.
According to the Daily Caller, Hudson’s bill has 58 of the original co-sponsors of a similar bill introduced in 2015.
Hudson said in a prepared statement, “our Second Amendment right doesn’t disappear when we cross state lines, and this legislation guarantees that.”
Opponents of national concealed carry reciprocity argue that not all state laws are the same. True enough, but everyone who has a carry license goes through a background check to get it. Criminals carrying guns across state lines don’t bother with background checks, or any other gun control law, rendering the argument specious, according to concealed carry advocates.
As reported earlier, Washington state now has more than 571,000 active concealed pistol licenses. Liberty Park Press learned Wednesday morning that neighboring Oregon had more than 249,000 active permits as of Dec. 1, 2016, and Ohio, which neighbors Indiana, has more about 574,000 active permits, according to the Insurance Journal.