(Indiana Statehouse Newsroom) – Nearly 800,000 Hoosiers have a license to carry a handgun. To some, a constitutional right to carry would be about removing red tape for gun owners and cutting their costs to simply carry a gun in public. Others, though, are concerned about what it would mean for safety.

Lawmakers and Hoosiers packed the House Chamber to debate whether Indiana should introduce a bill this winter to potentially join more than a dozen states already with “constitutional carry.”

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said this year, more than 100 people have been arrested in Marion County for carrying a handgun without a permit.

About half of them were charged with other serious crimes too.

Some lawmakers said the permitting process does not stop criminals from getting a gun.

One Indianapolis gun range manager said just because you have a permit does not mean you’re carrying.

Some lawmakers are wondering if there should be a training requirement if “constitutional carry” is enacted by the legislature but Indy Arms Co. said that shouldn’t be the case.

Right now, there are restrictions on who can get a permit.

State Rep. Jim Lucas said he would want people convicted of violent felonies to still be restricted if “constitutional carry” became law in Indiana.

(This story was originally published on September 7, 2017)