FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A law that would no longer require a permit to carry a gun could soon become official in both Indiana and Ohio.
Legislation passed in both states will ultimately be decided on by the respective governors. The bill watch page on Indiana’s state website didn’t show HB 1296 as one that has reached Governor Holcomb’s desk at the time of this report. Once he has it, he’ll have seven days to make a choice.
Governor Mike DeWine’s office announced he signed SB 215 into law on Monday.
There is opposition to the bill in Indiana. In a statement released Monday, House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) and members of the Indiana House Democratic Caucus called on Governor Holcomb to veto the bill.
“If signed into law, this legislation would only exacerbate gun violence in Indiana,” GiaQuinta said. “States with weakened permit processes have an 11-percent increase in handgun homicide rates and a 13 to 15-percent increase in violent crime rates. Numerous law enforcement agencies and State Police Superintendent Doug Carter opposed the legislation because unvetted concealed carry puts Hoosier law enforcement professionals at greater risk. When the permitless carry concept was in the House, Democrats opposed the legislation and worked to amend it with commonsense safety measures to address the gun violence and suicides plaguing communities across our state. That is what it means to be tough on crime. Democrats back our men and women in blue and brown and hope the governor will too.”
A national organization says otherwise. The United States Concealed Carry Association’s website says the notion that permitless or constitutional carry laws lead to more crime is fiction. They cite other states in their study here.
WANE 15 talked to the organization’s director of content Kevin Michalowski Monday afternoon.
Michalowski said every state that has passed laws to remove the need for permits to carry a gun in public has not seen more crime.
“The states, currently, that offer constitutional carry have seen no appreciable increase in crime since the institution of constitutional carry for those states,” Michalowski said. “The idea of a law-abiding citizen being more likely to commit a crime just because he or she has not had to go through a permitting process to carry that gun is just pure fantasy.”
He said the law makes it easier for good people to carry a gun and does not change the regulations for purchasing a gun legally or the consequences of misusing the gun.
“We’re not seeing a direct correlation in the the increase in crime to states that have constitutional carry. In fact, most of the places that have very stringent gun laws seem to have higher crime rates,” Michalowski said. “Quite frankly, criminals don’t go get the permits anyway, and the people who are out there committing the crimes are not involved in the permitting process. They don’t, they don’t follow any of those laws.”
Michalowski, who is also a law enforcement officer in Wisconsin, said that anyone who buys a gun should go through training, which isn’t currently required in Indiana and would no longer be required in Ohio.
He said learning to use your gun properly is important, but it’s just as important to be trained on state laws regarding the use of a gun, especially in self defense situations. He added that constitutional carry laws shouldn’t change how police officers approach people.
“We believe that everyone is armed until we prove that they’re not, and we prove that when we have the legal right to do a pat down or a search and make sure that that person does not have a gun. We approach our traffic stops as if everybody is armed. So, whether this is a constitutional carry state or a concealed carry state, or you’re walking up on a car that might possibly have criminals inside it, we do the same thing,” Michalowski said.