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Eliminating Handgun Licenses Likely Not Happening This Session But Not Ruled Out

By Brandon Smith, IPB News | Published on in Government, Politics
The Senate did not hear a bill in committee that would've eliminating Indiana's license to carry a handgun in public. (Justin Hicks/IPB News)
The Senate did not hear a bill in committee that would've eliminating Indiana's license to carry a handgun in public. (Justin Hicks/IPB News)

Legislation that would eliminate Indiana’s licenses to carry a handgun in public has been shot down by Senate Republicans.

Still, legislative leaders wouldn’t rule out reviving the bill, HB 1369, before lawmakers head home.

The Senate did not give the handgun license elimination bill a hearing before Thursday’s deadline to do so. More than half the Senate Republican caucus signed on to co-sponsor the bill. But Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) said it was a caucus decision not to advance the measure.

Bray said members of his caucus balked at a provision in the bill that required the state to create a new database of people who are barred from carrying a handgun in public. Many law enforcement leaders – including State Police Superintendent Doug Carter – opposed the bill because they said the current licensing system already serves as that database.

As a kind of compromise, Senate Republicans included in their budget proposal eliminating the fee for a lifetime handgun carry permit. The five-year permit is already free.

READ MORE: How Do I Follow Indiana’s Legislative Session? Here’s Your Guide To Demystify The Process

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House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said his caucus prefers eliminating the licenses entirely.

“If we end up removing the lifetime permit fee, that’s at least a positive step forward,” Huston said.

If the lifetime permit does become free, Bray said those who’ve already paid for one shouldn’t expect a refund.

“I’ve got mine as well, don’t expect a refund there,” Bray said. “So, we’re not really talking about that.”

Bray wouldn’t say what the possibility is that total handgun license elimination could be restored before the session ends.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.