The House approved legislation Monday to eliminate the fee for Indiana’s lifetime handgun carry license.
Cash from gun carry permits typically goes to local law enforcement agency budgets. And some expressed concerns eliminating the fee would cut into police funding.
Rep. Tim Wesco (R-Osceola), the bill’s author, says the fee elimination doesn’t take effect until July 2019.
“To allow in the coming budget cycle to ensure that we replace those funds,” Wesco says.
The House approved the bill 70-20, with bipartisan support – and opposition. Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) voted against the measure because he wants the bill’s original language, which would have eliminated the need for handgun licenses entirely.
“So we’re criminalizing people that are exercising a constitutional right for not jumping through hoops to prove that they have a card to exercise a constitutional right,” Lucas says.
The bill, which now heads to the Senate, also extends Indiana’s four-year handgun license to five years. That would put Indiana in line with a federal rule allowing anyone with a five-year license to forego background checks every time they buy a gun.