INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
Police officials in Indiana say a proposal to eliminate the state’s handgun
carry license requirement for civilians could result in a loss of revenue.
The Joint Committee
on Judiciary and Public Policy heard presentations on the proposal Thursday,
The Tribune-Star reported. It seeks to repeal the law requiring a person to
obtain a license in order to carry a handgun in the state.
An Indiana State
Police fiscal impact statement shows the department anticipates losing $5.2
million next year and $5.3 million in 2019 if the bill passes.
A four-year license
is $40 in state and local fees, and a lifetime license is $125 in fees. The
funds are used to pay for firearms training and supplies, such as
funding, the cost for those items would shift back onto the taxpayers,” said
Vigo County Sheriff Greg Ewing.
Requiring a carry
license also benefits public safety, said Terre Haute Police Chief John
Plasse. The application process comes with a criminal background check that
ensures people follow proper procedures, he said.
Ewing said the
permitting process isn’t a good way to keep guns out of the hands of
criminals because most people who intend to commit a crime likely aren’t in
possession of a license to carry. However, having a permit can make a
difference in police encounters, he said.
“It eases your mind
if someone is forthcoming and shows you their permit, along with their
driver’s license and registration, during a traffic stop,” Ewing said.
businessman Steve Ellis owns Top Guns, a gun store, indoor range and
training center. He said Indiana is a “shall issue” state. That means a
permit will be granted unless an applicant is categorically prohibited,
which can happen because of criminal history.
“So if that’s the
case, then why make people go through the hassle and fee when the state is
going to issue the permit anyway?” Ellis said. “All it’s done is put an
inconvenient hurdle for those who follow the law.”
The current law
doesn’t require handgun safety or proficiency in order to acquire a license,
A committee hearing
on the proposed legislation is scheduled Oct. 12.