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Everytown, Moms Demand Action Respond to Weekend Gun Violence and Indiana Lawmakers Advancing Dangerous Gun Bills

February 20, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS, IN. — Indiana Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement in response to Indiana lawmakers advancing dangerous bills today following a weekend of gun violence in the state’s capital city. Today, HB 1235 was voted out of committee, 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 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 a Senate floor vote – the last stop before passage.

This action comes following a weekend of gun violence across the state. Early yesterday, a mass shooting at an Indianapolis area Waffle House resulted in one person being shot and killed and five others being shot and wounded. This weekend people from across the country gathered in Indy to celebrate the NBA All Star Game.

“As the gun violence epidemic continues to devastate Indiana communities, we need to be prioritizing measures to curb gun violence, not seeking immunity for an industry that is profiting off of this crisis,” said Liz Moser, a volunteer with the Indiana chapter of Moms Demand Action. “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.”

“The tragic gun violence during the NBA All-Star weekend in Indianapolis, compounded by the recent shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl parade, highlights the urgent need for comprehensive gun safety measures,” said Nick Suplina, senior vice president for law and policy at Everytown. “Sports events should be celebrations, not scenes of senseless violence. While communities struggle to heal, it’s appalling that Indiana lawmakers are advancing reckless bills to further weaken gun laws – making it even easier for the gun industry to get away with their role in the gun violence epidemic.”

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. 

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

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