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Republicans revive bill to eliminate license requirement to carry handgun in public

Republicans have revived a bill to eliminate Indiana’s license requirement to carry a handgun in public.

A Senate committee took eight hours of testimony on so-called “permitless carry” legislation, HB 1077, last week. And at the end of it, the committee voted to overhaul the bill, keeping the permit system in place.

But House and Senate Republicans are ignoring that outcome and forging ahead with the original language that eliminates Indiana’s license requirement to carry a handgun in public. They've put it into a new bill, SB 209.

READ MORE: Senate committee stuns, guts bill that would've eliminated handgun carry permit requirement

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Sen. Eric Koch (R-Bedford)) insisted that’s normal.

“It’s not unusual for language that passes one house to appear second half elsewhere or appear during conference, in a conference committee report,” Koch said.

Sen. Rodney Pol (D-Portage) said Republicans are disregarding the objections of law enforcement, which almost universally opposes the bill.

Police say the permit system is the only way for frontline officers in the field to quickly know whether someone is authorized to carry a handgun in public.

“I myself have a sister-in-law that’s a law enforcement officer. Love her very, very much," Pol said. "And I’m very concerned about what this bill would essentially do.”

Both chambers must now vote to approve the bill for it to advance to the governor.

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

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