INDems Statement on Indiana House Passing HB 1077, Majority of Hoosiers Opposed to “Constitutional Carry”


NEW: Majority of Hoosiers oppose “constitutional carry” in Indiana GOP surveys

ICYMI: Indiana State Police opposed to House Bill 1077

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that advocates for the future of Indiana and its families, today issued the following statement by Chairman Mike Schmuhl after the Indiana House of Representatives passed House Bill 1077, an extreme and partisan bill to eliminate state firearm permits – creating a public safety crisis across Indiana:

“This is what the Indiana Democratic Party meant when it said Republicans will put their partisanship before anything else. If the Indiana GOP get their way and sign House Bill 1077 into law, they will ignore the will of voters and state and municipal law enforcement who worry about public safety – all to fulfill an extreme agenda,” said Mike Schmuhl, Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party. “Whether it’s handing firearms to bad actors, discrediting COVID-19 vaccines, or politicizing classrooms, Indiana Republicans would rather divide families and communities with their partisan culture wars than actually create a better future for Hoosiers.”

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Majority of Hoosiers, Indiana State Police Oppose House Bill 1077

Majority of Hoosiers Oppose House Bill 1001

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: Smaltz pushes gun bill despite own poll

“Second Amendment advocate Rep. Ben Smaltz, R-Auburn, is pushing a bill this year to eliminate licenses to carry handguns in the state. The proposal is often referred to as constitutional carry.

In 2019 his survey asked, “Do you believe Hoosiers who are legally permitted to possess a handgun should be able to carry a handgun in public without first applying for and obtaining a state issued license?”

Smaltz’s results showed 64% saying no, 31% yes, and 5% undecided.

But that didn’t stop him from again filing the bill, which was approved last week by a committee he chairs.

Smaltz did not respond to a request seeking comment.

A few of his colleagues asked the question in 2021 and got these responses: 54% in Rep. Alan Morrison’s district opposed, and 60% in Rep. Michelle Davis’ district said no.”

Law Enforcement Opposed to “Constitutional Carry” 

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: “‘Eliminating permits removes an extra layer of protection for public safety,’ Fort Wayne Police Sgt. Gary Hensler said.

He said the permit system provides a quick and effective way to identify those who shouldn’t have a gun. Without it, traffic stops will be much longer and more intrusive as police determine whether a person is prohibited under law from having a gun.” 

IndyStar: “The legislation signals a rare break between Republicans and police officers on public policy, with multiple law enforcement organizations testifying against the bill on Wednesday, including the Indiana State Police and the Indiana State Fraternal Order of Police.” 

CNHI: “Law enforcement groups remained opposed to the bill, saying it would hinder their ability to investigate threats to their officers.

Patrick J. Flannelly, the chief of police for Lafayette, encouraged the committee to oppose the bill as a representative of the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police.

“Law enforcement relies on the license … as a precious filter to prevent the carrying of handguns in public by applicants with prohibiting criminal histories, drug addiction or mental illness,” Flannelly said. “This bill shifts the burden to officers.” 


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