Seymour legislator proposes constitutional carry law

A state legislator wants Indiana to do away with requiring permits to carry firearms and instead adopt a constitutional carry law.
 
Such a law would eliminate the need for citizens to apply for permits, be fingerprinted and pay fees to openly carry a gun or have a gun in their vehicle.
 
District 69 Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, says Indiana’s gun permit process is “a burden and infringes on law-abiding citizens’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms.” He also said the state shouldn’t be making money on those rights.
 
Those who oppose Lucas’ bill say by not issuing permits, the state is putting the public at risk by having no way of knowing who has guns and taking away a level of responsible gun ownership.
 
A gun permit is not needed to purchase a firearm in Indiana; however, the seller is required to conduct state and federal background checks on the person first. If the buyer wants to carry the gun or have it in their vehicle, they must apply and be granted a state-issued permit under Indiana’s current laws.
 
Gun permits range from $50 for four years to $135 for a lifetime license, including local and state fees and costs for fingerprinting. Most of that money goes into the state’s general fund, resulting in an estimated $4.1 million for the 2017 budget year, according to state analysts. That’s an amount that Lucas said can easily be replaced.
 
“The state is fundamentally forcing innocent people to jump through unnecessary hoops, pay the state a substantial fee and wait several weeks to prove their innocence and receive permission to exercise a Constitutionally protected right,” Lucas said. “This is wrong. We should not be in the business of licensing out constitutional rights.”
Read the full story in Friday’s Tribune and online at tribtown.com.
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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.