A week of gun violence across Indiana highlighted the need for gun violence prevention laws in the state.
These incidents include the killing of 17-year-old Ranyia Grundy on Thursday afternoon in Indianapolis, Indiana. Grundy was found in a car in critical condition with gunshot wounds, according to police. Grundy was the fifth juvenile to be killed in Indianapolis so far this year. Also on Thursday night, a woman was shot during an active shooter situation in a Walmart in Evansville, Indiana. Police report the shooter was killed in a gun fire exchange with police on the scene.
There were also two back to back shootings in Indianapolis on Sunday. On Sunday afternoon, a man was found shot and killed in the street in Indianapolis in broad daylight. Earlier that morning, a woman was shot and killed at Pine Glen Apartments in Indianapolis. Investigators believe she was not the intended target. Additionally, just two days prior, another victim was hit by gunshots fired into their home in Indianapolis. Early Saturday, a 10-year-old boy was shot at his home after someone fired shots in the area. According to police reports, the minor is in stable condition.
Indiana is no stranger to gun violence, and in a state where an average of over 1,000 people are killed by guns each year, lawmakers have passed reckless legislation that puts more people in danger. Last year, despite widespread opposition from law enforcement and public safety advocates, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed HB 1296, a permitless carry bill that eliminated Indiana’s permit requirement for carrying a handgun in public. The law allows people to have easy access to guns without a background check or safety training. Referencing the potential increase in gun violence following permitless carry going into law, this summer, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Randal Taylor said, “we’re probably going to see an increase in gun violence because people feel emboldened about having a weapon on their side.” For cities like Indianapolis, which surpassed 200 murders for the third year in a row in 2022, weakening gun laws may put even more people in danger.
According to Everytown’s “Gun Law Rankings” for 2023, Indiana ranks in the bottom half of states across the country for gun law strength, dropping down several rankings this year after passing dangerous permitless firearm carry legislation.
As the Indiana legislature convenes for their 2023 legislative session, lawmakers must prioritize common sense gun safety measures. The state lacks many of the foundational gun safety laws, including background checks for all firearm sales and an extreme risk law. Indiana also lacks any secure firearm storage requirements, which may have prevented a toddler being able to access a loaded handgun. This legislative session, lawmakers should also prioritize passing these critical gun violence prevention measures and securing funding for life-saving community violence intervention programs.
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.