Police say the repeal of Indiana's handgun permit law means someone openly carrying a gun can be on a sidewalk eyeing a school but cops can't legally ask them what they're doing

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  • The Indiana State Legislature's repeal of gun permit requirements went into effect Friday.

  • The repeal makes it harder to screen for dangerous individuals with weapons, police say.

  • The law's exceptions include individuals with felonies or restraining orders against them.

Indiana repealed a law requiring handgun owners to carry a permit — and police say it will make their job more difficult by removing checks against individuals who commit crimes with weapons.

House Bill 1077 was passed in March by the state legislature, took effect on Friday, and allows those over 18 to carry a handgun without a permit. The law's exceptions include individuals with felonies, restraining orders against them, or a mental illness that makes them dangerous, the Associated Press reported.

Police advocates told the AP that permits helped to screen for dangerous individuals with weapons.

"We have to go through another step or two in order to be able to run a criminal check," state police spokesperson Capt. Ron Galaviz told the AP. "We won't necessarily be able to do it there on the side of the road."

Scott County Sheriff Jerry Goodin told WDRB the law would make people fearful in public.

"A guy can stand out there — or a girl or whoever with a rifle, an AR-15 or a handgun — and stand there on a sidewalk looking at the school,"  Goodin told WDRB. "The difference is this: We can't even stop and ask them what they're doing because of this law."

Across the country, conservatives have renewed attention to laws that protect the right to carry guns. Some of the laws, like Louisiana's and Ohio's bills to allow teachers to carry weapons, were proposed and passed in the wake of the Robb Elementary school and TOPS grocery store shootings in May.

Conversely, the shootings galvanized legislators in Congress to pass more federal gun restrictions. The restrictions include an end to the "boyfriend loophole," red flag laws that allow authorities to take guns from individuals deemed a threat to the public, and enhanced background checks for those under 21 looking to purchase a gun.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the US Constitution protected the right to carry guns outside of the home. The law struck down a New York state law that required individuals who registered to carry guns outside of their homes to provide a proper cause for doing so.

Indiana State Police did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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