New gun law takes effect; permit no longer required to carry a handgun

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HANCOCK COUNTY — A reminder to people wanting to carry a gun in Indiana, a new law is in effect now. Starting July 1 (today), people will no longer need a permit to carry a handgun in the state.

Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the bill doing away with the state’s concealed carry permit requirement back in March.

However, law enforcement officials note the same people prohibited from carrying a handgun under the permit system, including those with felonies, would still be prohibited from carrying a handgun.

Permitless carry, also known as “constitutional carry,” does not mean everyone can carry firearms with impunity.

Captain Robert Harris, public information officer for the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, said citizens should remember the new Indiana law does not allow every person to carry a firearm anywhere they want.

“There are still people who are not allowed to possess a firearm, and still locations where then cannot be worn, like at the airports,” Harris said.

The new law doesn’t affect who can lawfully possess a gun. As an example, a person who is criminal or a felon or someone who committed a domestic violence crime couldn’t possess a gun before constitutional carry and the person can’t possess a gun with constitutional carry, officials said.

What the new law does mean is Hoosiers who are eligible to purchase a gun in Indiana will no longer have to apply for a license to carry a firearm.

Officials with the Greenfield Police Department said on their website there are still laws in place that govern who can possess a firearm and where they can be possessed, so gun owners need to mind those laws. That includes federal laws that apply to firearms possession. The new Indiana law change does not impact federal law, officials said.

Officials note that officers will now have to prove if someone is carrying a gun illegally or not. It means officers might be asking a lot more questions when they encounter someone with a firearm.

“Law enforcement officers will ask more questions of citizens they encounter with handguns if it’s in the course of their law enforcement duties,” Harris said. “Law enforcement officers have the ability to check a person’s history to see if there are any disqualifying events that would prevent the person from carrying a firearm.”

Harris went on to say that all citizens purchasing a firearm will still have to complete a background check just like they do now.

Officials with the GPD also noted that, for the next several days, officials with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Indiana State Police – Public Information Office will post information on their Facebook pages and websites to try to answer some of the most common questions surrounding the new law.

For more information on the new gun law, visit www. in.gov/isp/firearms-licensing.

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