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Friday, September 02, 2016

Ind. Gov't. - "Gun licenses in Indiana outpacing last year"

Madeline Buckley reports in the Indianapolis Star today in a story that begins [ILB emphasis]:

The number of Hoosiers who hold active licenses to carry handguns has grown by nearly 50 percent since 2012, according to an IndyStar analysis, and the state is on pace to issue substantially more licenses than it did last year.

IndyStar analyzed data kept by the Indiana State Police regarding handgun permit holders. In Indiana, residents do not need a permit to buy a gun or to carry a rifle, and permits are not required to go target shooting or to keep guns at home. Permits are needed only to carry handguns in public.

In short: the data offer only a limited glimpse into how many Hoosiers are gun owners.

The numbers do, though, show a clear increase in the number of Hoosiers who want the option to carry a handgun in public. In the first three months of 2016, the state approved more than 50,000 carry permits, more than half of the total number of permits approved in 2015.

The state also is seeing the number of women permit holders skyrocketing. By the first quarter of 2016, more than 174,000 Hoosier women held permits, up nearly 90 percent from the roughly 92,000 women who held permits in 2012.

The story includes a map of Indiana comparing percent of licensed gun owners by county.

ILB: As to why "the data offer only a limited glimpse into how many Hoosiers are gun owners," the answer may be found in this worth reading in full Dec. 26, 2012 ILB post. Quoted in the post is a Jan. 27, 2010 FWJG editorial about a bill then pending in the General Assembly. The bill became law. From the editorial:

The bill would make permits to carry handguns a private record, no longer open to the public. These are not “gun permits”; these are licenses that specifically allow people to carry handguns in public. Such permits are not necessary to carry rifles or shotguns, nor are they needed to have a handgun in your home.

The move comes after the Indianapolis Star and the Bloomington Herald-Times published information about gun permits. Notably, neither paper published the names and addresses of permit holders – the information the gun lobby says should be secret. The Star’s story, in fact, illustrated exactly why the permits should be a public record: It found numerous instances where the carry permits were wrongly issued to convicted felons or unwisely issued over the recommendations of local police chiefs and sheriffs.

Supporters of the law want to deny the scrutiny that could uncover future cases where convicted felons get permits to carry concealed handguns. And gun rights advocates should note that public scrutiny of records can also guard against people being wrongly denied carry permits.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 2, 2016 10:18 AM
Posted to Indiana Government