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Gun Permit Bill Under Scrutiny in Aftermath of Florida Shooting

Long says he's "not happy" with changes to background checks; Bosma says he's doublechecking assurances of safeguards

(INDIANAPOLIS) - After moving steadily through the House and Senate, a bill eliminating some point-of-purchase background checks for gun buyers may have hit a snag in the aftermath of last week's school shooting in Florida.

Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) says he's "not happy" with a provision allowing holders of five-year permits to undergo background checks only when they get or renew their permits, forgoing checks each time they buy a gun. Lifetime permit holders would face the same background checks they do now.

Long says he's "only one voice" in the Senate, and says Senate Republicans will discuss the bill. The proposal faces a Thursday deadline to be approved by a committee and go to the full Senate.

House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says while there wouldn't be a full background checks, gun dealers would still be expected to check a database to confirm a buyer hasn't been convicted of a felony or picked up another disqualifier since the last renewal. He says he's been told Indiana's database is highly accurate, but says he's double-checking database procedures and effectiveness

Governor Holcomb isn't saying whether he'd sign the bill if it reaches him. He says he's closely following the nine bills on his legislative agenda, but won't weigh in on bills like the gun bill until they reach his desk and he can review the details.

Holcomb notes Indiana has a school-safety grant program, and says student safety will be the starting point for his review. 

An early version of the bill passed the Senate unanimously, but Democrats began urging legislators this week to reconsider in light of the Parkland, Florida, shooting.

Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)

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