Handgun Permit Bill Would Remove Evidence Of Applicants' DUI Charges

Jan 14, 2016

Credit Gretchen Frazee / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Indiana lawmakers have started a debate over whether a DUI charge should prevent someone from getting a handgun permit.

Sen. Jim Tomes’ (R-Wadesville) bill would remove the phrase “alcohol abuser” from the application.

Tomes says alcohol crimes and applying for a gun permit are unrelated.

“The question, if you have a DUI, I was asking: What does that have to do with obtaining a handgun license?” Tomes says. “If you had a DUI last night and tomorrow you want to get up and buy a firearm, you can buy a firearm. There’s no question about a DUI last night.”

Those who oppose the bill – like the national anti-violence advocacy group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America -- say the system is already working.

Moms Demand Action spokeswoman Stephanie Mannon says the move to prevent applicants from being questioned about their past alcohol convictions is a risk.

“I think we have a fundamental disagreement in our communities about who is safe to carry a loaded, concealed handgun in public,” Mannon says. “And that’s what’s at stake in this bill.”

A vote on the bill has been delayed until at least next week.