Letter: Background check needed for people who carry guns

From: Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers


State Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, has again introduced a constitutional carry bill, House Bill 1159, which would eliminate the requirement to have a license to carry a handgun in Indiana. Two previous attempts died after neither received a hearing.

Hoosiers can purchase a handgun without a permit (Second Amendment). Permits are currently only for people who want to carry a handgun on their person or in their vehicle. Persons who have, for whatever reason, been denied a permit to carry would (under this bill) be able to do so without a background check.

As someone who has been in law enforcement his entire adult life, I believe current laws are adequate. I also believe we travel on a very slippery slope when people who are legally denied carry permits are able to carry a handgun without any type of background check or issued documents from our state. People who travel from state to state also could be hindered from taking their weapons across the Indiana state line since 28 other states currently honor Indiana handgun permits.

The question isn’t whether people in Indiana should be able to purchase a handgun — that is our constitutional right. The question is: If people want to carry a handgun on their person or in their vehicle, why not have a background check and state-issued license to carry before being allowed to do so?

I am 100 percent against discontinuing Indiana’s current license to carry law for handguns. With all the violence across our nation involving firearms, why would anyone want to take a step backward on this issue? If a legislator wants to create a House bill involving firearms, why not draft a bill that would require individuals wanting a permit to carry to be required to go through an educational course on safety before being issued a handgun license?