The Indiana chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, celebrated the close Indiana’s legislative session without passage of dangerous gun bills.
During the session, lawmakers advanced SB 199, legislation which would expand the current so-called “Stand Your Ground” law to allow individuals to point loaded guns at people in certain circumstances and HB 1369, legislation that would eliminate the permit requirement for carrying a handgun in public. Throughout this session, Moms Demand Action volunteers testified against the bills and advocated for their rejection. The bills also received widespread opposition from law enforcement and constituents.
Indiana has been devastated by gun violence this year, including the most recent mass shooting in Indianapolis just two weeks ago which killed eight people and wounded several others. Indiana’s weak gun laws and the pandemic have exacerbated gun violence in the state over the last year, including a mass shooting in January, and another in March. Areas across the state, including Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, and St. Joseph County, saw elevated numbers of homicides in 2020, many of which were gun homicides.
“While this victory will never bring back the lives taken by gun violence this year, it feels good to say that gun safety won this session,” said Patricia Rettig, a volunteer with the Indiana chapter of Moms Demand Action. “This year was marked by immense grief, and we turned our grief into action by calling, texting, testifying, and showing up to make our voices heard. We are proud that the legislative session is ending without passage of reckless and dangerous bills that would only have put more Hoosiers in danger.”
This session, Moms Demand Action volunteers and supporters sent more than 1,500 emails to Indiana lawmakers asking them to stop several dangerous gun bills from moving through the legislature. Volunteers also testified at hearings, joined in opposition to the bills by teachers, law enforcement, and public safety experts.
Indiana has nearly 1000 gun deaths a year, and gun deaths have increased 30% in the last decade, compared to a 17% increase nationwide. Lax gun laws in Indiana and COVID-19 have exacerbated the root causes of gun violence. Gun violence costs Indiana $6.6 billion each year, of which $299.5 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in Indiana is available here.