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Despite Opposition from Gun Safety Advocates, House Judiciary Committee Advances Dangerous Bill Limiting Local Authority to Hold Bad Actors Gun Industry Accountable

January 18, 2024

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 members of the House Judiciary Committee advanced HB 1235. The measure 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 would allow only the state of Indiana to bring suits on behalf of local governments for irresponsible actions of industry members – limiting local authority. The measure now moves to the full consideration of the House. 

“As gun violence continues to be the leading cause of death for children and teenagers in this country we should be working to hold bad actors in the gun industry accountable for their role in this crisis – not letting them off the hook,” said Tricia Owens, a volunteer with the Indiana chapter of Moms Demand Action. “There are significant concerns about the way this bill restricts local authority, particularly at a time when the gun industry continues to evade accountability while Americans bear the consequences of our gun violence crisis. Our movement will not stand idle as this crisis continues to tear communities apart and we look forward to working with lawmakers to defeat this ludacris measure.” 

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 state of Indiana 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. 

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

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