The fight for constitutional carry in Indiana has been half a decade struggle, but this time proponents of permitless carry believe the law is likely to change.
The Bloomberg-funded Republican speaker is out of the way, and perhaps the incoming head of the House, Rep. Todd Huston, would be more supportive of expanded gun rights.
Several legislators are banking on this possibility and have vowed to introduce several versions of the bill to address various issues that might prevent the bill from passing.
Rep. Curt Nisly would reintroduce the bill, while newcomer John Jacob would sponsor a similar proposal in the coming weeks. Another representative Jim Lucas also promised to introduce a similar proposal in the House, albeit aimed at preventing prohibited people from accessing firearms.
"We're just trying to tighten things up for people who have shown a tendency to and have been convicted of extremely violent crimes," Rep. Lucas said.
The legislator doesn't understand why Hoosiers need a license to exercise their constitutional rights. He added that background checks not only fail to stop criminals but inconvenience innocent people. He said that citizens had the right to self-defense in the current climate of uncertainty occasioned by nationwide riots and slow police response.
"Sadly, people are losing faith in their government," he says, "and self-defense is the first law of nature, and we have to respect that."
Legislators have ignored earlier attempts to allow Hoosiers to carry firearms without the licensing burden.
The last attempt to pass permitless carry in Indiana courtesy of Rep. Curt Nisly, came to an abrupt end after the House speaker referred the bill to a House committee, which never got around to discussing it.
The executive director of the Hoosier Gun Rights group Brenden Boudreau says that "It's just a long history of neglect in Indiana to deal with this issue."
Surprisingly, Indiana is a Republican-dominated state with both the House and the Senate under the firm grip of the Republicans.
However, this didn't prevent House Speaker Brian Bosma from openly speaking against constitutional carry.
Nisly claims that efforts to expand gun rights in the state are hampered by anti-gun donors supporting some Republican candidates, including the House speaker.
"You could trace his agenda pretty much to his donors, and donors to the [House Republican Campaign Committee] HRCC," Rep Nisly said.
According to Nisly, some national gun control groups, such as Everytown for Gun Safety, contributed in 2016 to the HRCC and individual legislators.
Bosma, the speaker, and Matt Lehman, the Republican majority leader, received $500 each from the gun control group. Similarly, the group donated $2,000 to the HRCC and Senate Majority Committee.
Indiana, just like Texas, should have constitutional carry enacted by now. However, the complacency of the Republican legislators in both states is appalling. It's time both states joined the 16 others recognizing that fundamental rights are not granted by the government.
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