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Permission Not Required: “Constitutional Carry” Bill Introduced in Indiana

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 12, 2017) – A so-called  “Constitutional Carry” bill filed in the Indiana House would make it legal for most Indianans to carry a firearm without a license. Passed into law would also help foster an environment hostile to federal gun control.

Rep. Jim Lucas (R) and three cosponsors introduced House Bill 1159 (HB1159) on Jan. 9. The legislation would repeal the law requiring a person to obtain a license to carry a handgun in Indiana. If passed, any person otherwise legally authorized to carry a handgun could carry concealed without a permit. The law would still allow Indiana residents to obtain a license so they can carry in states that have conceal carry reciprocity with the state.

“Licensing constitutional rights should not be used to acquire revenue,” said Lucas in a statement posted on Facebook. “We should be able to defend our life without a license.”

While constitutional carry bills do not directly affect federal gun control, widespread passage of permitless conceal carry laws in states subtly undermines federal efforts to regulate guns. As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway. The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages “the market.”

Less restrictive state gun laws will likely have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce any future federal gun control, and increase the likelihood that states with few limits will simply refuse to cooperate with federal enforcement efforts.

State actions like passage of HB1159 will lower barriers for those wanting to the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourages a “gun-friendly” environment that would make federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.

“Constitutional carry is a big step toward being able to exercise a natural right that has been infringed at all levels for far too long,” ShallNot.org campaign lead Scott Landreth said.

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HB1159 was referred to the House Committee on Public Policy where it will have to pass with a majority vote before moving forward in the legislative process.

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