As the Indiana legislature returns to Indianapolis for the start of the 2022 legislative session, lawmakers will again have the opportunity to protect Indianans by rejecting dangerous legislation to strip gun safety measures and passing common-sense gun safety bills. Gun violence prevention is more critical than ever, as Indiana’s weak gun laws and the pandemic have exacerbated gun violence in the state since 2020. Violence continues to impact communities across Indiana, such as in Indianapolis, which recently broke its homicide record for the second year in a row.
Last year, lawmakers heard multiple bills that would threaten the few gun safety measures Indiana still has, including dangerous legislation to eliminate the permit requirement for carrying a handgun in public. During the previous session, Moms Demand Action volunteers testified against attempts to repeal Indiana’s permitting system alongside widespread opposition from law enforcement and constituents, and successfully fought against multiple other dangerous bills that threaten public safety.
Tomorrow, lawmakers in the Indiana House of Representatives will hear testimony on HB1077, a bill that would once again attempt to repeal Indiana’s permit requirement for carrying a hidden, loaded handgun in public. Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action will continue to testify against this bill, and urge Indiana lawmakers to reject it.
Instead of dangerous bills to weaken gun safety protections, Indiana lawmakers should prioritize:
- Secure storage: Secure firearm storage practices play a vital role in reducing the risk of gun violence. By passing legislation to require that gun owners securely store their guns responsibly to keep firearms out of the hands of children and unauthorized users, Indiana lawmakers can better protect children and adults by preventing unintentional shootings and gun suicides.
- Suicide prevention: Gun suicide is a preventable public health crisis in Indiana — especially among young people and in rural communities, which are uniquely impacted by this crisis. Lawmakers must pass legislation, such as a waiting period law, to help prevent gun suicide in order to address the gun violence crisis in Indiana.
- Community violence intervention program funding: Violence intervention programs provide evidence and community-informed, comprehensive support to individuals who are at greatest risk of gun violence. These programs are shown to reduce gunshot wounds and deaths in the neighborhoods most impacted by gun violence. Lawmakers can protect Indiana communities by prioritizing securing funding for violence intervention and prevention (VIP) at the state level.
What to know about gun violence in Indiana:
- In an average year, around 1000 people die and more than 1,500 people are wounded by guns in Indiana.
- Firearms are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Indiana. Black children and teens in Indiana are disproportionately more likely than their white peers to die by guns.
- Gun violence costs Indiana $6.6 billion each year, of which $299.5 million is paid by taxpayers.