Whether gun laws ought to be tightened or loosened is a matter of ongoing debate, but gun-permit statistics speak loud and clear.
At the end of last year, 10,993 gun permits were being held Bartholomew County residents. That total represents a five-year increase of 89 percent, according to data recently released by the Indiana State Police.
Most handgun license applications are approved, according to an analysis of Bartholomew County statistics between 2012 and 2017. Last year, 97.7 percent of the 939 licenses sought by Bartholomew County residents were approved. State police in their annual reports do not indicate reasons for permit applications that are denied.
To carry a handgun — concealed, openly or otherwise — a Hoosier has to have a license from the state, and the number of local permits issued last year represents about 17.8 percent of all Bartholomew County adults.
For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Republic.