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Gun Sense Lawmakers, Gun Violence Survivors, Shannon Watts, and Droves of Indiana Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Volunteers Call for Action on Gun Safety During Annual Advocacy Day, Celebrate 10 Years of Life-Saving Work in Indianapolis

February 15, 2023

Indianapolis, Ind. — Today, State Senators Andrea Hunley and Fady Qaddoura, Representative Dr. Victoria Garcia-Wilburn, and droves of Indiana Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, alongside Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts called for action on gun safety during their annual advocacy day in Indianapolis.

This year, Moms Demand Action celebrates 10 years of life-saving action when it comes to protecting our families and communities from gun violence. Shannon Watts founded Moms Demand Action from her kitchen counter in Indiana in the wake of the Sandy Hook elementary school and quickly partnered with parents in Indiana and across the country to create a national movement, with chapters in every state, made up of thousands of volunteers, many of whom are now sitting in elected office. And now, thanks to volunteers, we have changed the calculus on gun safety – turning good policy into good politics, driving the conversation on this issue and shifting the culture in a way that unites Americans from all walks of life in our fight for safer communities.

“It’s such an honor to be back in Indiana with so many incredible gun safety advocates demanding action from lawmakers to save lives,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “What I’ve learned over the past decade is that no one can match the tenacity and dedication of gun violence survivors and our grassroots army of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers. We’re showing lawmakers that we’re not going anywhere — and we’ll continue to hold them accountable when they fail to act on this crisis. Because our families and communities deserve to live without the fear of gun violence.”

“We’re at the statehouse because we want it to be clear that we are not going to take our foot off the gas pedal,” said Heather Hilbert, a volunteer with the Indiana chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Just a month and half into 2023, our communities are reeling from senseless gun violence, including from the shooting right here at the Castleton Square Mall. We will continue to show up and work with lawmakers to pass gun safety laws that will protect our communities and save lives.”

This year, Moms Demand Action volunteers are asking lawmakers to take action and pass proactive measures that will save lives. This comes after Moms Demand Action volunteers had major success this past election cycle — across the country 150 Moms Demand Action volunteers won their race for office, and gun violence prevention proved to be a winning issue.

Indiana has some of the weakest gun safety laws in the country. Over the past decade, Indiana lawmakers continue to put politics over public safety, once again introducing harmful bills to weaken gun safety laws, including to roll back the few remaining protections on keeping guns out of sensitive locations. Moms Demand Action volunteers have worked overtime to advocate against these dangerous measures, and pushed for action to fight the gun violence epidemic.

During the 2023 legislative session, Indiana lawmakers must prioritize common-sense gun safety measures. This includes raising the age to purchase a handgun, protecting Indiana’s extreme risk law, and passing other gun violence prevention and safety bills.

In an average year, 1,021 people die and 1,512 are wounded by guns in Indiana. Guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Indiana, and an average of 110 children and teens die by guns every year, of which 31% are suicides and 63% are homicides. Gun violence in Indiana costs $1,964 per person each year. Gun deaths and injuries cost Indiana $13.2 billion each year, of which $293.1 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in Indiana is available here.

To speak to a local volunteer with Moms Demand Action, a volunteer with Students Demand Action, or a policy expert, please reach out to [email protected].

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