Indiana carry laws set to change July 1; Vanderburgh Co. sheriff expresses concerns
INDIANA (WFIE) - When Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed House Bill 1296 on March 21, Constitutional Carry became the law.
Beginning July 1, 2022, anybody in Indiana over the age of 18 can keep a handgun on them without the need to have any licensing or permits, barring any felonies on record.
Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding says that he’s actually big on guns and hunting.
In his head, lawmakers are trying to fix something that isn’t broken.
“Our state wastes a lot of time doing stupid things. I think this is one of those stupid things,” says Wedding.
Wedding compared the current system of obtaining carry permits to a fishing license, and he struggles to see where lawmakers are making distinctions as far as what’s important, and what’s trivial.
“To me, what’s more important? A guy carrying a handgun that can take somebody’s life,” says Wedding, “or somebody holding a rod and reel in their hands that needs a license?”
Wedding says that the licenses also helped law enforcement not only vet people who were looking to obtain one, but also offset the costs of things like ammunition.
“Handgun license fees help law enforcement support their firearms efforts, and it was a nice sum of money for an agency like Vanderburgh County,” says Wedding.
The bottom line, according to Wedding, is that this law change could significantly impact law enforcement’s ability to distinguish whether or not handguns are being carried by people who should have them, and if they’re not, allowing them to take action.
Wedding says some scary scenarios come to mind when he envisions this law fully in place.
“You could have four people in a car, two of them convicted felons that are in possession of a firearm,” says Wedding, “law enforcement stops them, and two people in the front seat take possession of the weapons and say ‘no, they’re my weapons,’ and we’d have no recourse.”
Wedding says many members of law enforcement are against this change, and he just wishes lawmakers would have spent more time discussing with them and other agencies before acting.
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