Indiana bill would allow gun owners to carry without a permit
Some worry about losing a potential safeguard.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Would it lead to the wild, wild west, or would it make the streets safer? That's the debate over a proposal to allow gun owners in Indiana to carry without a state permit.
Rick Geary, owner of Falls City Firearms in Clarksville, Indiana, has been buying and selling guns for years. He says if you can legally own a gun, you should not need permission to carry it.
"I'm a more guns, less crime kind of guy," Geary said. "I think the more people that carry, it would be better."
That's the idea behind a bill to be filed for the 2017 Indiana legislature. It would eliminate the need for a state permit to carry a gun. It's a process that includes checks by both state and local police, a waiting period and more than a $100 in fees.
"And I think that's wrong that people should have to go through all those hoops, and pay the state a fee to exercise a constitutional right," said State Rep. Jim Lucas (R- Seymour), the bill’s sponsor.
Austin Whobrey got his permit in 2013, and carries his pistol on his hip.
"It's just a little slip of pink paper, about $150," he said.
Whobrey supports the bill, but understands why some would be concerned about losing a potential safeguard.
"I do like it because it is pro-Second Amendment, but I also don't like it because anyone willy-nilly could just carry a gun when they don't really need one," he said.
But supporters say such concerns about a wild west mentality have not played out in states where the law has passed.
Geary says it would most help those who may not be regular gun enthusiasts.
"But if circumstances arise due to civil unrest or due to a spike in crime in their neighborhood that they're not used to, they would have the option to carry the gun, and be on the side of the law," said Geary.
A similar bill died in the last session, but Lucas believes the election of Donald Trump shows the country's mood has changed.
"I think the national mood and the state mood favors improving our gun rights," said Lucas.
The 2017 session fires up on Jan. 4.
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