Changes To Handgun Licensing Bill

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WISH- A controversial gun permit bill flipped on its head Wednesday.

Several people, even some in law enforcement, turned up for a committee meeting Wednesday morning. Many were ready to voice their opposition, but a last minute revision changed everything.

The original bill stated an Indiana resident, who’s allowed to have a handgun, could’ve carried without a handgun license. You only would’ve needed a state issued ID. Those words sparked controversy.

Becke Bolinger, wish Moms Demand Action: said “We were very concerned about the original bill.”
State Representative, Timothy Wesco, a Republican from Osceola who authored the bill, acknowledged that concern from several people Wednesday morning.

Wesco said “Sure, there was some controversial language. I feel like we’ve taken some positive steps forward for gun owners without taking any unintended consequences with law enforcement.”
Those opinions so strong, Wesco drastically changed his original House Bill 1424.

Wesco explained “Everything that you’ve read about the bill thus far is gone. We’re starting essentially with new language here.”

That new language basically says the bill would: “Give a free lifetime carry permit starting July 1, 2019. And also allow an individual having a 4-year permit, to go to a 5-year permit,” Wesco explained. “Take the national criminal background check initially, but not have to take it again every time they buy a gun.”

Law Enforcement Kendallville Police Chief, Rob Wiley, felt the new bill will still allow careful consideration of gun permit applicants.

Wiley explained “That was extremely important to our organization, I think to law enforcement in general, the ability to vet up front, which the original bill had taken out.”

Fort Wayne’s Police Department sees the amendment as a success, too.

Sergeant Gary Hensler. with the Fort Wayne Police Department said “Is it perfect? No. It’s not perfect, but it’s not a perfect world.”

Becke Bolinger, with mom’s Demand Action, said she felt like many Hoosier voices were heard Wednesday.

Bolinger explained “The permit process will continue because it does nothing but keep us all safer.”
The new bill passed the House Committee this morning by a vote of 12- YES , one NO. The bill moves forward to a second reading.

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