INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) – Indiana House Representative Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) is taking another shot at his “lawful carry” gun bill.
Tuesday was the start of the Indiana Statehouse legislative session. This session, Rep. Smaltz is reintroducing his bill that would do away with the law requiring law-abiding Hoosiers to obtain a government-issued license to carry a handgun.
“This law is about the law-abiding Hoosier. They shouldn’t have to go through a process to be fingerprinted. They shouldn’t have to wait 30, 60, 90-days to get a permit,” Rep. Smaltz said. “We should not bind lawful people to those sort of steps.”
That was the same message Rep. Smaltz presented when he introduced the bill last session. During that time, many WANE 15 viewers, a local gun shop, and people downtown threw major support behind the bill. However, it was killed in the Senate after not making it past the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Senator Liz Brown (R-Fort Wayne), who supports the Second Amendment, is the chair of that committee and didn’t fully support portions of the bill. After it was shot down, she stated that many senators along with law enforcement agencies, had concerns regarding a database that the state would have to create to confirm whether an individual was allowed to carry a handgun without a license.
Allen County Sheriff David J. Gladieux and Fort Wayne Police Chief Steve Reed were both vocal about how they felt this bill could put officers’ lives in danger.
Rep. Smaltz said it’s really common procedure for lawmakers to work a piece of legislation through the process and then build on it to improve it.
“This bill really focuses on people who have obeyed the law their entire life. This focuses on people who are trying to do the right thing. This doesn’t help criminals , this doesn’t help them at all. What we are trying to do is say to that person who is a law abiding citizen that we get it. The bad guy doesn’t have to go through these steps, so neither should you.”
The bill also has the concept reciprocity, meaning if the bill is signed into law, Hoosiers will be able to carry their handguns in the other 21 states that honor the U.S.-issued concealed carry permits.
Wednesday will begin the testimony and vote for the bill. If it makes it out of committee, it will go to the House floor.