Should a DUI bar you from a handgun license?

INDIANAPOLIS -- Should an alcohol-related conviction prevent you from getting a handgun permit in Indiana?

Lawmakers debated just that Wednesday at the Statehouse as a new proposal would seek to prevent handgun permit seekers from being questioned about their past alcohol convictions.

Specifically, the bill would remove the phrase "alcohol abuser" from the application, which refers to a person who has at least two alcohol-related offenses in three years and at least one conviction.

Stephanie Mannon, of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said the bill is an attempt to change a system that's working.

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

Sen. Jim Tomes (R-Wadesville), who is sponsoring the bill, disagreed.

"The question asking if you have a DUI … I was asking, 'What does that have to do with obtaining a handgun license?'" Tomes said. "If you have a DUI last night, tomorrow you want to get up and buy a firearm, you can buy a firearm. There's no question about a DUI last night."

The committee chair cut off public testimony on the bill Wednesday afternoon and delayed a vote on the bill until at least next week.

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