Local law enforcement discuss effects of HB 1296, which eliminates handgun permits

Mayor James Mueller, St. Joseph County Prosecutor Ken Cotter, South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski are holding a press conference to discuss HB 1296 which would allow Hoosiers to carry a handgun without a license.

St. Joseph County Sheriff William Redman was unable to attend the press conference and released the following statement:

First, I want to be clear that I support the second amendment and the right of our St. Joseph County citizens to bear arms and protect themselves. However, we need to be realistic to the fact that our founding fathers didn’t foresee the multiple acts of senseless violence and the mental health/substance abuse crises that are plaguing our communities throughout this country.

It is of the upmost importance to me as Sheriff to make sure our officers are safe as they are protecting our community. Nationally, there have been over 70 police officers shot and injured along with 10 police officers killed by gunfire so far for in 2022. The removal of the current gun permit process takes away an additional level of safety for our officers to be able to identify those who have legally gone through the gun permit process versus those who haven’t.

At this time, I ask that Governor Eric Holcomb veto HB 1296 until further discussion with our Indiana lawmakers and police administrators can be conducted.

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