From the Office of Jeff Ellington, State Representative – House District 62:
The Indiana House of Representatives recently advanced legislation to allow lawful carry in Indiana, which would allow law-abiding Hoosier adults to carry a firearm without having to first obtain a government-issued license, according to State Rep. Jeff Ellington (R-Bloomington).
“Hoosiers who respect the law are the ones going through the application process to carry a firearm – not criminals,” Ellington said. “If passed, law-abiding citizens won’t have to jump through hoops to defend themselves or their loved ones.”
According to Ellington, Hoosiers must currently complete a firearm license application online, schedule an appointment to submit their fingerprints and then complete local law enforcement agency processing all within 180 days. He said once those steps are completed, the application is submitted to the Indiana State Police for final review. After that process, approved Hoosiers must wait for their permit or rejection notification to be sent through the mail.
This bill does not change the process to legally purchase a handgun, which means buyers must complete the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives form, and be approved by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. This step helps ensure only eligible buyers legally purchase handguns.
Reciprocity permits, including 5-year and lifetime permits, will still be available, and current holders of those type permits would still receive that benefit. These permits provide firearm reciprocity, or the ability for Hoosiers to carry in 31 other states. Indiana honors 48 states’ permits. Ellington said there is currently no fee for a five-year personal protection license, and the fee for a lifetime personal protection license is $125. Those fees will remain in place.
Ellington, who voted in support of the legislation, said 18 states already allow law-abiding citizens to carry a handgun without a government-issued permit, including Kentucky.
Currently, funds collected from Indiana’s handgun permits help subsidize firearms training, ammunition, range training, body armor and other expenses for local law enforcement across the state. Ellington said any loss in funding for departments as a result of this bill would be restored through a new appropriation in the state budget, and departments would also continue collecting funds from reciprocity permits.
The bill will enhance the penalty for theft of a firearm from a Level 6 felony to a Level 5 felony, which carries a sentence of between 1 to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.