The Indiana chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement after the Indiana House passed HB 1369, dangerous permitless carry legislation that would eliminate the permit requirement for carrying a handgun in public. HB 1369 would allow people — including people with histories of violent or emotionally unstable conduct, certain weapons offenders, and drug and alcohol abusers — to carry loaded handguns in public without a background check.
“Once again our lawmakers seem to be more concerned with the gun lobby’s priorities than public safety,” said Desmond Harris, volunteer with the Indiana chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Repealing the permitting requirement is irresponsible, reckless, and has increased gun violence in other states that have tried it. We need solutions to Indiana’s gun violence crisis, not policies that would exacerbate it.”
Permitless carry does not help public safety and has actually increased gun violence in states that implemented it. In 2003, Alaska became the first state to enact a permitless carry law. Since then, the rate of gun-related aggravated assaults per year in the state increased by 65 percent.
The majority of Americans support concealed carry permitting systems that require firearm safety training and ensure that only responsible gun owners can carry concealed guns in public. Over 80 percent of gun owners, non-gun owners, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents agree that high safety standards are critical in issuing concealed carry permits.
Indiana has nearly 1000 gun deaths a year, and gun deaths have increased 30% in the last decade, compared to an 17% increase nationwide. Lax gun laws in Indiana and COVID-19 have exacerbated the root causes of gun violence. Areas across Indiana, including Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, and St. Joseph County saw elevated numbers of homicides in 2020 — many of which were gun homicides.