COLUMBUS, Ind. — Local law enforcement officials say they are prepared for a new gun law taking effect Friday that has received public opposition from the state police superintendent and some major law enforcement organizations.
The law, which was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb in March, eliminates Indiana’s handgun permit requirement, allowing allow anyone age 18 or older to carry a handgun in public except for reasons such as having a felony conviction, facing a restraining order from a court or having a dangerous mental illness, The Associated Press reported.
Supporters argue the permit requirement undermined Second Amendment protections by forcing law-abiding citizens to undergo police background checks that can take weeks.
The law’s opponents, including State Police Superintendent Doug Carter, as well as the leaders of the state Fraternal Order of Police, police chiefs association and county prosecutors association, say the new law strips police of a screening tool for identifying dangerous people who shouldn’t have guns.
“It’s often so easy to talk about your support for public safety,” Carter said. “But if you choose to support this bill, you will not be supporting us.”
The bill was co-authored by Rep. Ryan Lauer, R-Columbus, who has said he is proud of the law and will “continue to defend our God-given Constitutional rights and freedom.”
In Bartholomew County, law enforcement officials say the new law makes it more difficult for them to determine if somebody is unlawfully carrying a weapon but now are prepared to adapt.
For the complete story, and comments from the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department and Columbus Police Department, see Friday’s Republic.