INDIANAPOLIS —Legislation supporting law-abiding Hoosier gun owners advanced to the Senate Tuesday after clearing the Indiana House of Representatives, according to State Rep. Doug Gutwein (R-Francesville).

House Bill 1077, also known as lawful carry and co-authored by Gutwein, would allow law-abiding adults who are legally eligible to obtain a carry permit, to carry a handgun without first having to obtain government permission. Gutwein said the bill's passage out of the House brings Indiana one step closer to joining the 21 other states with lawful carry, including Kentucky and Tennessee.

"Law-abiding Hoosiers have a Constitutional right to be able to protect themselves and should not have to wait weeks to receive a state-mandated license to do so," Gutwein said. "This is commonsense legislation that will cut government red tape and allow lawful Hoosiers to protect themselves and their loved ones."

According to Gutwein, House Bill 1077 would not impact current permit holders, the availability of permits in the future or the process to legally purchase a handgun. Hoosiers who purchase a firearm are still required to complete the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives form, and be approved by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Gutwein said the five year and lifetime reciprocity permits would still be available free to Hoosiers. Permit holders have reciprocity to carry in 31 other states.

The bill would also enhance the penalty for theft of a firearm from a Level 6 felony to a Level 5 felony, which carries a sentence of between 1 to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Visit iga.in.gov for more information on House Bill 1077.

Gutwein represents House District 16, which includes all of Pulaski County and portions of Fulton, Jasper, Newton and Starke counties.

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