Fairfax, Va.— Lawmakers in both the Indiana House and Senate have passed bills that would make it more affordable for law-abiding gun owners in the state to protect and defend themselves.Yesterday, the Indiana state House of Representatives passed House Bill 1424 71-20 and the state Senate previously passed Senate Bill 237 49-0. HB 1424, sponsored by Representative Timothy Wesco (R-21), would extend the duration of a 4-year License to Carry a Handgun (LTCH) to five years and remove fees for lifetime licenses. SB 237, sponsored by Senator Rodric Bray (R-37), would also extend the duration of a four-year LTCH to five years.“This bill recognizes that law-abiding citizens have a fundamental right to protect and defend themselves and their families in public. We must eliminate excessive fees that make it hard for the most vulnerable among us to exercise that right.” – Catherine Mortensen, NRA SpokespersonEach bill will now cross over to the opposite chamber for further consideration.Both of these bills will bring the Indiana LTCH into compliance with federal law to make it eligible for what is called “NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) exemption.” NICS exemption simply means that law-abiding permit holders who have been fully vetted and have undergone a federal background check may purchase or receive a firearm from a firearm dealer without the delays sometimes associated with an additional NICS check. The permit itself acts as verification that the holder has undergone a background check and is neither prohibited under state or federal law from possessing a firearm.