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Governor Holcomb Signs Bill to Further Shield the Gun Industry from Accountability, Indiana Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond 


INDIANAPOLIS, IN. — The Indiana chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statements in response to Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signing into law HB 1235. The dangerous measure seeks to protect gun industry members from being held accountable for their role in promoting gun violence. HB 1235 expands upon federal law’s broad immunity for the gun industry and limits the ability of localities to bring suit against bad actors in the gun industry. This measure allows only the state of Indiana to bring suits on behalf of local governments for irresponsible actions of industry members – limiting local authority. 

“Today is a sad day for Indiana families, said Julia Chester, a volunteer with the Indiana chapter of Moms Demand Action. “As gun violence continues to be the leading cause of death for children and teens in this country we must be doing more to curb this crisis – not caving to the gun lobby. This law could restrict local authority at a time where the gun industry continues profiting from gun related deaths and our communities pay the price. Our movement will not stand idle as extremist politicians put guns over lives.” 

“The absolute last thing the gun industry needs is more legal protection from being held responsible for their role in America’s gun violence crisis,” said Olivia Leake, a volunteer with the Indiana University-Bloomington Students Demand Action chapter. “The gun industry’s dangerous practices have fueled a nation of gun violence, from making their weapons deadlier to working with rogue dealers who put profits over safety. But our power outweighs that of the gun lobby and the gun industry. We won’t accept inaction when it comes to our right to live.” 

As many states have moved forward with measures making it easier to hold bad actors accountable in the gun industry, HB 1235 gives exclusive authority to the Attorney General for the state of Indiana to bring or maintain actions concerning firearms and ammunition on behalf of political subdivisions; creating a monopoly on legal actions and 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 makes 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.