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Indiana Handgun Licenses Would Now Be Eliminated In 2022, Under Committee Change

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Indiana’s license requirement to carry a handgun in public would now be eliminated in March 2022, instead of July 2021, under a bill passed by a House committee Monday.

The committee pushed back the bill’s timeline in a bid to placate law enforcement agencies.

Law enforcement leaders – including State Police Superintendent Doug Carter – told lawmakers last week that the license system was the only way for frontline police to quickly know whether a person is authorized to carry a handgun in public.

Bill author Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) said pushing back the elimination of the license will give law enforcement more time to develop a new system that tells police who shouldn’t be carrying a handgun.

“For them to make their officers aware and for them to work through some logistics to make it a good change in the law,” Smaltz said.

READ MORE: How Do I Follow Indiana's Legislative Session? Here's Your Guide To Demystify The Process

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But Rep. Terri Austin (D-Anderson) said a few extra months isn’t enough time.

“This is a huge undertaking," Austin said. "Quite honestly, I don’t think it’s possible that it gets done.”

The House Public Policy Committee approved the measure along party lines. The bill is now headed to the full House.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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