Local law enforcement officials express disappointment over new permit-less carry law
“I was kind of actually shocked when I heard the news last evening," said St. Joseph County Sheriff William Redman.
The bill has been controversial among members of law enforcement-- who fear it would make their jobs more dangerous, by making it more difficult to determine if an individual is legally allowed to carry a concealed handgun and possibly make it easier for criminals to get around the gun restrictions already in place.
“We have turned down thirty individuals from St. Joseph County that applied for a gun permit here in our community, and we turned them down due to false information that was provided," Redman said. "Now these individuals that were turned down now have the opportunity to carry a gun all the time.”
And now they're worried that this will potentially add to the mounting gun violence in the area.
“It’s pretty obvious that we’ve seen a huge increase in violence throughout this country and here locally in our community, so from a law enforcement standpoint—and as sheriff—I want to make sure that our officers and our citizens are safe," said Redman.
Handgun owners are still encouraged to apply for concealed carry permits-- and Sheriff Redman said officers will still have access to their database to look those permits up-- but when the new law takes effect, he felt it will be harder to protect both his officers and the public.
“I support the second amendment. I truly believe that everybody has the right to protect themselves," he said. "But I just feel that this is a step backwards for our law enforcement officers.”
Despite disagreeing with the bill, Sheriff Redman added that it's his job to enforce it and he will be working to make sure his officers know the law inside and out before it goes into effect come July 1.