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Indiana 'Constitutional Carry' bill dead in committee, but could still be revived

HB 1077 had to be reassigned to the Rules and Legislative Procedure committee. However, the bill was not assigned in time to meet a committee hearing deadline.

INDIANAPOLIS — A bill that will allow Indiana gun owners to carry without a permit is dead in committee but could be revived in another bill.

Members of the Senate Judiciary committee amended and passed the bill unanimously Wednesday following an eight-hour meeting that ended with three GOP senators joining committee Democrats in approving an amendment that a Republican supporter said “guts the bill completely.”  

The issue is that they violated some rules, so the HB 1077 had to be reassigned to the Rules and Legislative Procedure committee. However, the bill was not assigned in time to meet a committee hearing deadline, so now the bill is dead.

However, the spirit of the bill could still live on. Lawmakers may insert language from the bill into a different one. The Senate’s third reading deadline is Tuesday, the House’s deadline is Monday. Bills that are not approved by those dates will die on the floor.

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The bill passed the House in January. The bill that the House approved, largely along party lines, aimed to allow anyone age 18 or older to carry a handgun except for reasons such as having a felony conviction or having a dangerous mental illness. The revision adopted by the Senate committee would keep the current permit requirement in place, while creating an automatic six-month provisional permit so that those who have submitted applications don’t have to wait perhaps weeks for granting of the final permit.

A similar bill died in a Senate committee last year after Senate Judiciary Chair Liz Brown refused to schedule a hearing on the bill.

Indiana currently requires people to obtain a license to carry a loaded handgun outside their own homes, businesses and cars, although people can generally carry rifles and shotguns without a permit. Twenty-one other states allow residents to carry handguns without permits.

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