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Why the 'Constitutional Carry' bill could die in Indiana's Republican-controlled 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.

INDIANAPOLIS — NOTE: The above video is from a previous report when the House passed HB 1077.

House Bill 1077, which will allow gun owners to carry without a permit, passed the Indiana House Tuesday with a 64 to 29 vote. The bill now heads to the equally Republican-controlled Senate. But the bill passing there is not a sure thing.

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.

This isn't the first time though that a "Constitutional Carry" bill has been proposed.

Just last year, a similar bill died in a Senate committee. Senate Judiciary Chair Liz Brown refused to schedule a hearing on the bill. At the time, there was opposition to the bill from some police organizations.

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.  

RELATED: Statehouse bill would eliminate permit requirement for gun owners

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.

With the bill now heading to the Senate, supporters are concerned it could be assigned to the same committee as last year – and die.

“Our sources inside the capitol are reporting that Senate President Pro. Temp. Rodric Bray plans to send Constitutional Carry back to the Senate Judiciary Committee where Senator Brown killed the bill last year. But we all know Senator Bray has the power to send House Bill 1077 to any committee, at any time. If Bray chooses to send the bill back to a ‘kill committee’ where it died last year, we can only assume his goal is to derail Constitutional Carry during this legislative session.” said Will Fite, legislative director of Hoosier Gun Rights.

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

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