Gun bill appears dead

INDIANAPOLIS – A bill that would allow Hoosiers to carry a handgun without a license appears to be dead this legislative session.

After voting Tuesday to reclassify House Bill 1159 as an amendment, the House Committee on Public Policy will later determine whether the proposal authored by State Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, should be assigned to a summer study committee.

Introduced Jan. 9, the constitutional carry bill stated that a person who may otherwise legally carry a handgun is not required to obtain or possess a license or permit from the state.

During the Jan. 30 Third House legislative session at Columbus City Hall, Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers said he had signed a petition circulated by the Indiana Sheriff’s Association to oppose the measure.

“With all the gun violence going on in the nation, I think that’s definitely the wrong direction to go,”  Myers said.

But Lucas said there is confusion and misunderstanding about constitutional carry bills that have already been adopted by 12 other states.

The lawmaker said his proposal would not change who can and cannot own a gun in Indiana. People with felony convictions, are younger than 18 years old or otherwise not legally permitted to carry a firearm would remain ineligible.

Lucas represents House District 69, which is composed of portions of Bartholomew, Jennings, Jackson and Jefferson counties.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5636.