INDIANAPOLIS– Yesterday, our friends on the other side of the aisle punted an opportunity to address Hoosiers’ concerns about gun violence. Two gun related bills were held by Republicans, one in the Senate Appropriations Committee and the other on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Senate Democrats had a lineup of amendments prepared to better ensure the safety of Hoosiers in this state rather than make it easier to access and use firearms. Those amendments included raising the legal age to purchase an assault rifle from 18 to 21, banning the sale of bump stocks and strengthening the background check process.

By not allowing these amendments to come to the floor, Republicans chose to shy away from having discussion and debate on these common sense gun reform amendments, and at first glance, killed both bills. Republican leaders have alluded to bringing back the language from those bills in conference committees in the following weeks, a process for finalizing bills that allows no opportunity for amendments or public debate.

We are facing a very trying time in this country when it comes to gun violence. If there were ever a time to take a step back and reassess our gun laws, now is that time. Now is the time to look at common sense laws that are supported by the public for keeping Hoosiers safe. Now is not the time to bypass the public legislative process and pass new gun access laws in secret. 

I hope that as we approach the end of the 2018 legislative session my Republican colleagues remember what I have said here and remember that the safety of our constituents is of the utmost importance. Reviving these bills in the final moments of session would absolutely be the wrong thing to do.