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Dangerous Bill to Make it Harder to Sue Bad Actors in the Gun Industry Passes in Indiana Legislature, Despite Widespread Opposition


INDIANAPOLIS, IN. — The Indiana chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroot network, issued the following statement after the Indiana legislature passed HB 1235. The bill seeks to expand upon federal law’s broad immunity for the gun industry and limit the ability of localities to bring suit against bad actors in the gun industry. This measure will allow only the state of Indiana to bring suits on behalf of local governments for irresponsible actions of industry members – limiting local authority. The bill now heads to Governor Eric Holcomb’s desk and awaits his signature. . 

“The passage of HB 1235 is a reckless and dangerous move for the state of Indiana and provides even more incentive for bad actors in the gun industry to continue predatory and dangerous practices,” Alison Shih, senior counsel at Everytown for Gun Safety.  “As the gun violence epidemic continues to devastate Indiana communities, lawmakers need to be prioritizing measures to curb gun violence, not limiting accountability for an industry that is profiting off of this crisis. We are incredibly disappointed in the extremist Republican lawmakers who prioritized passing this dangerous bill over taking any actual action to curb the gun violence epidemic plaguing this state. 

As many states have moved forward with measures making it easier to hold bad actors accountable in the gun industry, HB 1235 would set Indiana backwards, giving exclusive authority to the state to bring or maintain actions concerning firearms and ammunition on behalf of political subdivisions; creating a monopoly on legal actions, limiting the ability of local governments to address issues specific to their communities. 

For nearly two decades, a federal law known as the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (“PLCAA”) has helped to shield bad actors in the gun industry from lawsuits that would hold them accountable for their role in fueling the epidemic of gun violence in Indiana and across the country. This protection has prevented many individuals and communities injured by gun violence from filing civil suits against these bad actors, giving the gun industry little incentive to change their dangerous and irresponsible practices. HB 1235 will make it even harder to sue the gun industry, allowing only the state to bring suits on behalf of local governments, which would be a serious setback in the gun violence epidemic plaguing Indiana. 
Indiana has some of the weakest gun laws in the country – ranking 30th in the country for gun law strength in Everytown’s 2024 Gun Law Rankings. Everytown’s interactive gun law platform – which shows the direct correlation between the strength of a state’s gun laws – is available here. More information about gun violence in Indiana is available here.