The Indiana chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement after the Indiana legislature passed permitless carry legislation to eliminate Indiana’s permit requirement for carrying a handgun in public. By replacing language in a previously passed bill with permitless carry language and walking out without hearing testimony, Indiana lawmakers circumvented the normal legislative process and denied law enforcement officers and concerned citizens the opportunity to raise clear concerns about the dangers of permitless carry. The bill now goes to Governor Eric Holcomb’s desk.
The Indiana State Police, officers and representatives from the Fort Wayne Police Department, Evansville Police Department, the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police, the Indiana State Fraternal Order of Police all spoke out against permitless carry.
“It is shameful and frustrating that our lawmakers are using a legislative loophole to overrule the wishes of law enforcement, sneak through permitless carry, and avoid hearing the vocal concerns of the people whose job it is to protect our communities,” said Heather Hilbert, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action in Indiana. “Our lawmakers should be standing with law enforcement, not pushing a bill that will make it harder for them to do their jobs and place our communities in danger. Governor Holcomb should veto this bill.”
Indiana lawmakers previously stripped language from SB209, what was previously an unrelated bill, and replaced it with permitless carry language during a recent conference committee hearing without hearing testimony from law enforcement and Moms Demand Action volunteers who were present and prepared to testify in opposition.
The Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee recently amended House Bill 1077, the former permitless carry bill, to no longer dismantle Indiana’s permitting system after hearing significant opposition from law enforcement. Permitless carry has been shown to increase gun violence in other states and is broadly opposed by law enforcement, including law enforcement in Indiana.
More information about permitless carry is available here.