GOP Leaders Halt Gun Bills To Avoid Statehouse Debate

Mar 1, 2018

Republican leaders say they halted gun bills in each chamber Thursday to avoid debate on several gun regulation proposals.

Lawmakers say they plan to revive some of the language in those bills before the session ends.

One of the gun bills would allow firearms in houses of worship on school property. The other would eliminate the state’s lifetime handgun license fee and allow certain permit holders to avoid background checks at every gun purchase.

There were several proposed amendments on everything from banning bump stocks and assault weapons to barring those on the terror watch list from possessing guns.

Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) says the majority party didn’t want to go through those debates.

“This is nothing new. We’re just trying to manage the process, get through there without having a debate on things that are really not going to make a difference because they won’t pass and they’re just placed to embarrass someone,” Long says.

Rep. Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis) says Republicans are afraid of the debate.

“They’re afraid of the voters,” DeLaney says. “So they don’t want to engage in the debate because they can’t choose between the voters and the NRA.”

Republican leaders say language to eliminate the lifetime license fee and restore the houses of worship provision will likely resurface before the end of session.