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Bill Permits Transportation of Handguns without License

A bill permitting people to transport handguns without a license passed a House committee Friday.

Freshman Senator Jim Tomes’ bill allows people to carry a handgun without a license if they’re attending a firearms-related event, such as a gun show or a hunting club, or if they’re at a location like a shooting range or gun repair shop. Tomes said the bill came about after the Indiana Department of Natural Resources fined two men at a shooting range for not having permits to carry their weapons, one of which was rented from the shooting range.

The legislation also allows a handgun to be transported in a vehicle if the gun is unloaded, stored in a case and inaccessible to the driver. But Indiana Chamber of Commerce Vice President George Raymond is concerned about a loophole in the law. Raymond said the vehicle transportation portion of the bill conflicts with a gun law passed last year.

“The person bringing the gun onto the employer’s property had to have a license to do so. As I look at this bill, and looking at section three, that would be done away with,” said Raymond.

But Tomes said the bill has been narrowly tailored to avoid that sort of issue.

“It does not allow you to take your handgun and go to workplace and stay the day and then go, it’s talking about going from point A to point B and back to point A,” said Tomes.

Anderson Democratic Representative Terri Austin voted to pass the bill through committee, but said she plans on bringing an amendment on the House floor to clear up confusion in the legislation.

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