The Indiana state House of Representatives voted Monday to eliminate the need for a license to carry a handgun in the Hoosier state. On a 65-31 vote in the heavily Republican-dominated legislature, House Bill 1369 passed to the state Senate in what is considered a major victory for 2nd Amendment rights groups.
If the bill becomes law, it would mean that any person who is legally permitted to carry may do so without having to obtain a government license. Republicans in the state argue that requiring permits and licenses amount to a punishment of law-abiding citizens since it forces them to pay for a right guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment.
"This bill is for the lawful citizen in the state of Indiana," said Republican Rep. Ben Smaltz, who authored the bill. "This bill is for the person who obeys our laws who right now has to jump over the hurdles to be the person that gets the permit."
Opponents of the bill say that it will allow more guns onto the streets, including those that will fall into the wrong hands. It will also make it more difficult for police to be able to monitor who is and who isn't carrying a firearm when they need to make arrests, critics argue.