The Indiana state legislature’s repeal of firearms licensing requirements went into effect Friday.
The repeal makes it harder to track down dangerous armed individuals, police say.
Exceptions to the law include individuals with felonies or restraining orders against them.
Indiana has repealed a law requiring handgun owners to be licensed – and police say it will make their job harder by removing checks on people who commit gun crimes.
House Bill 1077 was passed by the state Legislature in March, took effect Friday, and allows people over the age of 18 to carry a handgun without a license. Exceptions to the law include individuals with felonies, restraining orders against them or a mental illness that makes them dangerous, the Associated Press reported.
Lawyers for the police told the AP that permits help detect dangerous armed individuals.
“We have to go through one or two more steps in order to be able to do a forensic check,” state police spokesman Capt. Ron Galaviz told the AP. “We won’t necessarily be able to do it there on the side of the road.”
Scott County Sheriff Jerry Goodin told the WDRB the law would make people fearful in public.
“A guy can stand over there — or a girl or anybody with a rifle or an AR-15 or a handgun — and stand there on a sidewalk looking at school,” Goodin told the WDRB. “The difference is this: we can’t even stop and ask them what they are doing because of this law.”
Across the country, Conservatives have renewed focus on laws that protect the right to bear arms. Some of the laws, like the Louisiana and Ohio bills allowing teachers to carry guns, were proposed and passed in the wake of the Robb Elementary School and TOPS grocery store shootings in May. .
Conversely, the shootings galvanized congressional lawmakers to pass more federal gun restrictions. Restrictions include an end to the “boyfriend loophole”, red flag laws that allow authorities to take firearms from individuals deemed a threat to the public, and enhanced background checks for under 21 looking to buy a firearm.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the US Constitution protects the right to bear arms outside the home. The law struck down a New York state law that required people who register to carry guns outside their homes to provide a valid reason for doing so.
Indiana State Police did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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