Among the numerous Indiana laws that went into effect on July 1 as part of a two-year budget plan was the removal of a $125 fee to apply for a concealed carry permit. Last year, the state waived the fee to obtain a five-year license to carry. Now, its residents can obtain a lifetime concealed carry permit for free too.

Surge of Applicants

The state wasn’t prepared to handle the thousands of Indiana residents who applied for lifetime concealed carry permits. Within the first 24 hours, 7,136 individuals applied through the Indiana State Police’s (ISP) website, causing the site to crash. Some applicants began to see a message that read: “We’re sorry … Due to a high number of current applicants, we must limit the number of individuals applying at one time. Please try again later.” In the first week, 25,000 people applied for the permit. The ISP has since updated the website with this message: “ATTENTION: Due to the high volume of applications, you may experience delays in accessing the firearms application portal.” If you live in Indiana and intend to apply for a lifetime concealed carry permit, expect delays.

There Are Still Fees

While a lifetime concealed carry permit is now free, the required background check and two sets of fingerprints (one for the state police and the other for your local police department) are not. IdentoGO charges $12.50 for fingerprints, while the city of Indianapolis charges $50 for the application. Every applicant is required to pass a background check with the ISP, which also has a fee ranging from $7 to $17.

Just the Beginning of the Journey

One Indiana gun store owner interviewed recommends lifetime concealed carry permit applicants should put the $125 saved toward firearms education and training. “Especially if it’s your first gun, that’s something that’s really important,” he stated. “You’re gonna need to know how to operate it, you’re gonna need to know the safety, you’re gonna need to know the stuff like different types of grain weights, different bullets and projectiles.” The journey to becoming a responsibly armed American only begins when a gun owner purchases his or her first firearm and never ends for seasoned gun owners. There is always room for improvement.

Another Win, But Still More to Accomplish

Indiana Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) sees removing the lifetime concealed carry permit fee as another step in the right direction toward protecting Americans. But there is another hurdle to overcome: gun-free zones. He is sponsoring a bill to eliminate these killing zones once and for all. “The way I see them, the only thing gun laws do is they make people that obey gun laws easy victims for those who don’t obey gun laws,” he declared.

While this will be a larger hurdle to overcome than removing the state’s lifetime concealed carry permit fee, we applaud Rep. Lucas for his effort to tackle this problem head-on. Gun-free zones are ideal targets for active shooters. Hopefully, this effort in Indiana will encourage other states’ politicians to follow his example.

Read more:

Indiana Gun Laws: What You Need to Know
Firearms Training Is Still Essential, Even If a Permit Isn’t
National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Stops Crime, Background Checks Do Not