STATEHOUSE (March 5, 2021) – The Indiana House of Representatives advanced legislation to allow lawful carry in Indiana, which would allow law-abiding Hoosier adults to carry a firearm without having to first obtain a government-issued license, according to State Rep. Matt Hostettler (R-Patoka).
"Criminals are not the ones taking the time to get a handgun carry permit," Hostettler said. "This bill simply eliminates the extra red tape for law-abiding citizens who want to protect themselves and their family."
According to Hostettler, Hoosiers must currently complete a firearm license application online, schedule an appointment to submit their fingerprints and then complete local law enforcement agency processing all within 180 days. He said once those steps are completed, the application is submitted to the Indiana State Police for final review. After that process, approved Hoosiers must wait for their permit or rejection notification to be sent through the mail.
This bill does not change the process to legally purchase a handgun, which means buyers must complete the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives form, and be approved by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Hostettler said this step helps ensure only eligible buyers legally purchase handguns.
"Lawful carry would only apply while in Indiana, and individuals would still need to obtain a reciprocity permit to carry in other eligible states," Hostettler said. "This legislation would remove a roadblock for lawful Hoosiers to carry and strengthen our Second Amendment rights."
Reciprocity permits, including 5-year and lifetime permits, will still be available, and current holders of those type permits would still receive that benefit. These permits provide firearm reciprocity, or the ability for Hoosiers to carry in 31 other states. Indiana honors 48 states' permits. Hostettler said there is currently no fee for a five-year personal protection license and the fee for a lifetime personal protection license is $125. Those fees will remain in place.
Hostettler said 18 states already allow law-abiding citizens to carry a handgun without a government-issued permit, including Kentucky.
Currently, funds collected from Indiana's handgun permits help pay for firearms training, ammunition, range training, body armor and other expenses for local law enforcement across the state. Hostettler said any loss in funding for departments as a result of this bill would be restored through a new appropriation in the state budget, and departments would also continue collecting funds from reciprocity permits.
The bill will enhance the penalty for theft of a firearm from a Level 6 felony to a Level 5 felony, which carries a sentence of between 1 to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
State Rep. Matt Hostettler (R-Patoka) represents House District 64,
which includes Gibson County and portions of Knox, Pike, Vanderburgh and Posey counties.
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