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Indiana Law Enforcement to Lawmakers: Don’t Make it Harder to Prevent Gun Violence

As you may have seen, leading Indiana law enforcement officials spoke out Tuesday in the State Capitol against permitless carry, a dangerous proposal that would eliminate the state’s handgun carry license requirement and allow people with dangerous histories – including violent and emotionally unstable people, certain weapons offenders and alcohol and drug abusers – to carry loaded handguns in public.

Like the vast majority of states, Indiana requires people to pass a criminal background check and obtain a license in order to carry a concealed handgun in public. Removing this requirement would eliminate a key public safety provision that helps protect officers and Hoosier communities, law enforcement officials said Tuesday.

“I think new laws are made to fix something that’s broken,” said Bill Owensby of the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police. “I haven’t heard anything that indicates this current law is broken.”

“The law that currently is in existence in Indiana is a very Second Amendment-friendly law, quite frankly, while still allowing law enforcement to do what it needs to do, which is protect the general public,” Kendallville Police Chief Rob Wiley, immediate past president of the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police, told RTV6 in an interview.

For additional coverage of Tuesday’s hearing, please see stories from the Associated Press, Indiana Public Media, CBS 4 and Indiana Lawyer. Committee members heard testimony Tuesday 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.

Committee members face a clear choice in the weeks ahead: Will they buckle under the pressure of a gun lobby that opposes common-sense standards like requiring a background check and a license to carry a loaded handgun in public, or will they stand with the Hoosier law enforcement leaders urging them to keep Indiana’s handgun carry license requirement in place?

Law enforcement groups have opposed permitless carry in other states that have considered it, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Missouri. Of the 28 states that have considered permitless carry this year, 20 states have rejected such legislation and only two have enacted it. Permitless carry bills remain pending in six states.

A fact sheet about permitless carry is available here. Please feel free to reach out with any questions.

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