Could 2017 be the year that Indiana does away with permitting requirements for carrying handguns? Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) thinks so. "I want to decriminalize our constitutional right to bear arms," he said. "Our right to self-defense shouldn’t be controversial."
Lucas has an ally in the newly named chairman of the Indiana House Public Policy Committee. Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) is a strong pro-gun advocate and has been instrumental in helping to pass gun rights legislation in the state.
When asked about constitutional carry, Smaltz replied: "The Indiana Constitution is very clear about a person being able to possess firearms. I think in the past I’ve just looked at it from a constitutional basis. But as a chairman, I’m looking at it with new eyes."
Indiana isn’t alone in its push to remove handgun licensing requirements. Last year, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri and West Virginia all passed permitless carry laws. "I think the planets are aligned this year," said Lucas.