Indiana lawmakers pass bill to allow guns in Statehouse

Lawmakers in the Indiana Senate have passed a bill that would allow staff members to carry handguns in the Statehouse.

The measure, Senate Bill 43, passed Monday on a 39-7 vote in the Indiana Senate and now heads to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s desk for signature, the Northwest Indiana Times reported.

The legislation would allow state lawmakers and legislative staffers with handgun permits to carry their handguns inside the state capitol building, including the Senate and House chambers. Handguns could be carried openly or concealed.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Jim Tomes, said he proposed the measure so that legislative employees could protect themselves while working and walking to and from the Statehouse.

While the bill covers legislative branch employees, there are no provisions that would allow executive or judicial branch employees to carry their handguns into the Statehouse.

If Gov. Holcomb signs the bill, as expected, it will take effect immediately.