Law enforcement in our state is tasked with keeping Hoosiers as safe as possible. So, it makes sense that a move to strip the state’s handgun permit laws elicited a strong rebuke from officers.
Of course, there’s the financial cost of getting rid of such permits. The state cleared over $9 million in fees last year alone. More than 800,000 Hoosiers have permits, with a new lifetime personal protection permit costing $75, according to CNHI Statehouse reporter Scott L. Miley.
But, that’s not reason enough to keep the current permitting system. There’s also accountability and security to consider. Permit-holders must register online with the state and turn in their fingerprints.
“Police organizations want Indiana to keep its handgun licensing system, officials told a legislative study committee on Tuesday,” reported Miley on Wednesday. “A joint Senate and House Judiciary and Public Policy Committee is looking at repealing Indiana’s handgun permit law. The committee is addressing whether Hoosiers should be able to carry a handgun, either concealed or openly, without a license. Such an allowance, known as constitutional carry or freedom to carry, is in 12 states, although each has separate requirements concerning identification.”
Second Amendment absolutists will argue any restrictions on a constitutional right are wrong, but support of sensible gun safety measures shouldn’t be a partisan issue. (Unsurprisingly, National Rifle Association state representative Chris Kopacki spoke in favor of the repeal.) When it comes to tearing down such prohibitions, these hard-liners don’t ask why they were instituted in the first place, but why we should keep them at all.
No one is saying Hoosiers can’t have handguns. And, in this case, no one is even proposing more restrictions than are currently in place. All that’s being asked by law enforcement personnel is to keep what we have. That’s all.
— Kokomo Tribune, published Aug. 25, 2017