I wanted to make sure you saw that a panel of legislators declined Monday to back a proposal to eliminate Indiana’s license requirement for carrying a loaded handgun in public, a development that comes amid serious public safety concerns raised by law enforcement officials and gun safety volunteers with the Indiana chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
For months, Rep. Jim Lucas attempted to drum up support for eliminating the license requirement, but as a summer study committee looked at the issue, Indiana law enforcement leaders made clear such a change would make it harder for them to protect Indiana communities, and Moms Demand Action volunteers urged legislators to keep the common-sense requirement in place. In its recommendation yesterday, the committee chose not to recommend passing the permitless carry proposal, taking a stand for public safety and dealing a setback to the gun lobby, which has seen similar proposals rejected in 20 states this year.
Indiana Moms Demand Action volunteers have spent months urging legislators to keep the license requirement, and the chapter had “a heavy presence at all of the meetings” of the study committee, WFYI in Indianapolis noted in its story Monday.
Polling of more than 1000 Indiana adults conducted earlier this year revealed nine in ten Indiana adults – including 84 percent of gun owners and 90 percent of Republicans – support requiring a license in order to carry a loaded handgun in public in Indiana. Support for the license requirement also runs strong among Indiana’s law enforcement officials and at the study committee hearing in August, lawmakers heard from officials representing the Indiana State Police, the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police, the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police, the Indiana State Police Alliance and the Indiana Sheriffs Association.
Of the 28 states that have considered permitless carry bills this year, only two have enacted this dangerous legislation, 20 have rejected it and bills in six states are still pending. Law enforcement officials and groups have expressed grave concerns about permitless carry in Indiana and in many other states, including North Dakota, Missouri, South Dakota, Montana, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
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