Indiana Bill Would Stop Public Access to Gun Owner Database

An Indiana state bill that would stop public access to a gun permit database is working its way through the state legislature.

The Indiana bill was introduced after complaints about news reports that used the public database to publicize problems with the process by which gun permits are granted.

Indiana’s House Natural Resources Committee unanimously approved the bill last Thursday.

Indiana State Representative Dave Cheatham (D), chairman of the panel that voted on the bill, said, “Individuals have a right to privacy.”

The author of the bill, Representative Peggy Welch, D-Bloomington, said she was contacted by voters who were worried that their personal privacy could be compromised by similar news reports.

Representative Welch also stated: “It wasn’t just people who owned guns,” she said. “It was people who didn’t own guns and said, ‘I don’t like the idea that somebody can know I don’t have a permit, which may make them think that I don’t have a gun and come and rob me.”

The Indianapolis Star reported on numerous incidents where state police issued gun permits to people with a violent or criminal record.

Although Representative Cheatham said he doesn’t want news reporters to have access to names and addresses of gun permit holders in Indiana, he stated that he totally supports the media putting pressure on government officials if gun permits aren’t issued properly.

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