Common Sense Gun Safety & Regulation

I support the Right to Bear Arms outlined in the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution. Like all of our constitutional rights, the 2nd Amendment can be subject to common sense laws that create an environment of gun safety and reduce the chance of firearms getting into the wrong hands. Currently, Indiana laws are not achieving this goal.

  • In the wake of mass shootings at schools, such as the tragedies in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students were killed; Santa Fe, Texas, where 10 people were killed Governor Holcomb tasked a team “to examine existing school protections and explore new ways of keeping schools safe”, released their 2018 School Safety Recommendations. They cited safety officers and equipment as wise investments for schools. Our local schools applied for and obtained hand held metal detectors and developed policies for their use that were incorporated into school safety plans. (PHM received 39, Mishawaka, 21)

  • Importantly, this report found that to reduce the chance of gun violence in schools, our state must look at:

    • Enhanced mental health services for students, educators and parents.
    • Equipment, technology, tools and training.
    • Policy and Legislative considerations.

  • The team defined school safety as a public health issue and stated we must go “beyond hardening our buildings and training to respond to incidents,” to address this challenge. In other words, we must look at how to prevent gun violence from ever happening.

  • We’re often told the bad guys will always find a way to get a gun. If that’s true, then Indiana is making it easier for the bad guys. Studies by Chicago police found that 1 out of 3 gang-related guns confiscated in the city in 2015 came from Indiana and that 16% of all guns confiscated by the ATF were sourced in Indiana. In 2018, Indiana had a higher number of firearm deaths than the entire state of New York despite their population being 3 times the population of Indiana. (New York had 821 firearm deaths compared to 977 in Indiana.) And, Indiana’s rate of firearm deaths is higher than the rate in Illinois.

  • We can reduce gun deaths through better policy that seeks to improve access to mental health services in our communities, invests in public health, and enacts common sense gun legislation.

MY AGENDA FOR COMMON SENSE GUN SAFETY & REGULATION

In addition the school-based actions listed above, I support the agenda of the Giffords Law
Center that includes laws to:

  • REQUIRE BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR EVERY GUN SALE, including those made at gun shows and through private sales.

  • REVERSE RESEARCH BAN on gun violence. Indiana can choose to study gun violence at the state level as well.

  • REGULATE the sale of semi-automatic assault weapons.

  • PRESERVE AND STRENGTHEN state concealed carry permit systems and limit firearms in schools, public parks, and bars.

  • ENACT EXTREME RISK PROTECTION ORDERS to empower family members to proactively protect their loved ones by petitioning courts to temporarily remove guns during a severe suicidal crisis. (Indiana has a Red Flag Law)

  • ENACT STATE WAITING PERIOD for gun purchases to provide a brief but crucial cooling off period to guard against impulsive gun purchases.

  • DEVELOP public health and healthcare-based suicide prevention programs to counsel patients about suicide and gun safety.

  • INVEST IN MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES in communities and schools.