July 1 marks the start of “permitless carry” for Hoosier handgun owners
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, Republican, signed House Bill 1296 into law earlier in 2022, allowing law-abiding residents to carry a handgun without a permit, beginning on July 1.
Democrats across the state say the law is no good, accusing republicans of pushing their own agenda.
“That is terrible that it will become law,” Myla Eldridge, Vice-Chair of the Indiana Democratic Party, said. “I think it’s going to cause us to see more gun violence, which is terrible for our state and our communities.”
Tom McDermott, Mayor of Hammond and candidate for US Senate said of Indiana Republican lawmakers that “The super-majority has already proven in Indiana that they don’t really listen to Hoosiers, they don’t listen to experts. I mean, we had the Superintendent of Police in Indiana say please, we don’t want constitutional carry in Indiana. The super-majority knows better, they pass it anyway.”
The law’s author, Republican Representative Ben Smaltz, says after hearing testimony from those for and against the bill, including Indiana Superintendent of Police Douglas Carter, they still felt it was in the best interest for law-abiding residents to be able to carry handguns without a permit.
“After exhaustive searches that we did, looking at other states and what happened there after they implemented policies similar to us is that we didn’t see that there was any uptick or downtick in crime. Simply allowing a lawful person to carry a handgun on their person, in my opinion, makes that individual more safe, and that is what our country is founded on is individual responsibility and people being responsible for their own safety,” Smaltz said.
There were a number of circumstances where people couldn’t carry a handgun before the law goes into effect and now that list is even larger:
Indiana State Police Sergeant Brian Walker says this law isn’t going to change how they do their job, saying “pre-July 1 and post-July 1 is not going to change. Still, if I approach your vehicle on a traffic stop, per se, and there’s a weapon visible in the vehicle, I’m still going to identify the person or persons in that vehicle who have access to that handgun.”
Despite Superintendent Carter saying he doesn’t want the law, it will go into effect, and Walker says officers have to enforce the law.
“This law has been handed to us. Our opinion was stated ahead of time, and this is what we have to work with, and we’re going to do our due diligence to work through this law and make this work.”
It’s still suggested to apply for a permit if you plan to carry a handgun, especially if you plan to travel out of state with your gun, as not every state allows guns to come into their borders without a permit.
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