Gun permits no longer required to carry a weapon in Indiana starting July 1

The bill was pushed through the GOP-led legislature and Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signed it into law this week.

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Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has signed into law a bill that repeals the permit to carry requirement in the Hoosier State.

Per NBC Chicago, as of July 1, anyone over the age of 18 can carry a handgun in public, barring a few restrictions. The exceptions include Indiana residents who have been convicted of a federal or state crime punishable by a year in prison or more, fugitives from justice, and those ever convicted of domestic violence, domestic battery or criminal stalking.

Guests look over guns in the Taurus booth at the 148th NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits back in April 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Governor Eric Holcomb has signed into law a bill repealing the permit requirement to carry a gun in Indiana. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

In addition, anyone restrained by an order of protection or under indictment is not allowed to carry a gun under current state law.

The new law also will not apply to anyone restrained by an order of protection or under indictment, people who have been determined dangerous or mentally defective, any individual committed to a mental institution or those dishonorably discharged from military or National Guard service.

The law was pushed through the Republican-led legislature, and Holcomb, also a Republican, had declined to publicly express his opinion on the matter — however, he did not veto it.

Supporters of the bill and constitutional carry say that it goes against the Constitution to require citizens to submit to background checks or a permit to carry process to enjoy the right to bear arms.

However, the state’s top cop, area prosecutors and Indiana’s police chiefs’ coalition took a strong stance against the legislation. State Police Superintendent Doug Carter, a Republican who previously served as sheriff of Hamilton County, has blamed “outside influence of national associations or political posturing” for its passage.

“It’s often so easy to talk about your support for public safety,” Carter said, according to WGN-TV. “But if you choose to support this bill, you will not be supporting us.”

Indiana is also a castle doctrine state. The law, also known as Stand Your Ground, has been frequently used by defendants alleging they have killed in self-defense. Its critics note that the defense is more likely to be believed if the victim is Black; additionally, if the shooter is Black, they are more likely to face penalties, according to a 2017 NPR report.

Indiana Democrats also have misgivings about the bill. “It hurts to see us advancing a piece of legislation that supports spreading and allowing more guns to be on our streets when violent crime is going up in our nation,” said Indianapolis Sen. Fady Qaddoura, according to The Indianapolis Star.

The new law may spark the continuation of a national trend. A 2021 report from Indiana’s WTHR found that nationwide gun ownership among African American women has increased 87%.

Mildred Willis, a customer at an Indianapolis store, told the network, “When you are being targeted — you hear stories like Breonna Taylor and Sandra Bland — and you have these incidents going on all across the country. You want to know you have at least a chance of survival because some people are radical.”

“Everybody deserves an opportunity to protect themselves and their homes,” Willis added. “They should not be afraid to learn about guns or even own a gun.”

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