INDIANAPOLIS — A bill that will allow Indiana gun owners to carry without a permit passed out of committee in the Senate late Wednesday.
Under House Bill 1077, dubbed the "Constitutonal Carry" bill, anyone 18 and older can carry a gun without a permit, with a few exceptions. The primary exceptions include if someone has a felony conviction or a dangerous mental illness.
The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill after a late night voting on proposed amendments to HB 1077. Testimony before the vote lasted for hours, including comments from several police officers and groups like Moms Demand Action.
The committee advanced the bill, despite many amendments getting tabled or defeated, with some lawmakers admitting to voting "yes" just to keep the bill moving forward.
Supporters argue the permit requirement undermines Second Amendment protections by forcing law-abiding citizens to undergo police background checks.
Critics 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," Jennifer Haan with Moms Demand Action in Indiana said last month.
The bill passed the House in January.
A similar bill died in a Senate committee last year after Senate Judiciary Chair Liz Brown refused to schedule a hearing on the bill.
If it's signed into law this year, Indiana would join 21 other states allowing gun owners to carry without a permit.