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Bill eliminating gun permits passes Indiana House

The bill would allow anyone age 18 or older to carry a handgun except for reasons such as having a felony conviction or having a dangerous mental illness.

INDIANAPOLIS — House Bill 1077, which will allow gun owners to carry without a permit, passed the Indiana House Tuesday. The bill now heads to the Senate.

The bill would allow anyone age 18 or older to carry a handgun except for reasons such as having a felony conviction or having a dangerous mental illness.

Supporters argue the permit requirement undermines Second Amendment protections by forcing law-abiding citizens to undergo police background checks. 

"This right is a God-given natural right, not one given by the government. The government should not be your plan for self-defense. It's your responsibility to protect yourself, your families, your loved ones as well as your neighbors," said Hamilton County Sheriff Dennis Quakenbush.

Opponents say there should be a vetting process.

"We will have people walking on our street never vetted by law enforcement, never receiving a background check with loaded firearms around our children," said Jennifer Haan with Moms Demand Action in Indiana.  

A similar bill failed last year in the Senate, where GOP leaders pointed to opposition from police organizations. 

Ultimately, if it is signed into law, Indiana would join 21 other states which allow gun owners to carry firearms without a permit.