Permit checks in Indiana on the upswing again after year-long slump

Background checks for permits in Indiana more than doubled over the last month after a year of slumping interest.

Data compiled by the FBI and its National Instant Criminal Background Check System highlighted a downturn in background checks for concealed carry permits in Indiana starting in February of last year, after the state peaked at 183,520 applications processed in January 2016. By June, the total decreased by half until hitting a 12-month low of just 30,423 permit checks in September.

The stagnation held steady through the holiday season, with January permit applications topping just over 45,000.

NICS data shows, however, concealed carry permit applications soared last month, totaling 92,422 — a level not reached since May of last year.

Indiana law requires a permit to carry a concealed handgun, though a constitutional carry proposal is pending in the state house. It’s the third iteration of the bill to be introduced since 2015.

Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, told the IndyStar last year he believes “the planets are aligned this year” to pass his bill, potentially ranking Indiana among 11 other who states who don’t require licenses for concealed carry.

“The state has taken that right, and we’re forcing innocent people to jump through hoops and pay a fee to the state to exercise their Constitutional right,” Lucas said during an interview with WSBT 22 News in November. “To me that’s immoral and wrong.”

Detractors say the proposal is “unnecessary” and will increase gun violence.

“It is clearly not an unnecessary hoop,” Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry told the IndyStar in December. “For us, it’s just beyond discouraging that, in our mind, the legislature keeps going the wrong way on gun issues. To me, the fundamental question is: What purpose does this serve other than just grandstanding?”

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