Indianapolis—Following this weekend’s mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas, State Senator Mark Stoops (D-Bloomington) made the following remarks:
“It’s devastating that Dayton and El Paso will now be joining the scores of American communities, including those in Indiana, affected by the epidemic of preventable gun violence. These tragedies have stolen the lives of too many innocent Americans. Lawmakers in every state should be doing everything in their power to put an end to these senseless acts, but instead, many lawmakers are actively working to prevent the passage of necessary gun safety laws.
“In our own state, just this past session, the legislature ignored several opportunities to strengthen our laws to reduce the risk of gun violence. I introduced legislation to close the loopholes that permit gun sales that bypass background checks. Additionally, I offered a proposal to require safe storage of firearms that would have created a criminal penalty for gun owners that leave their weapons accessible to children or adults deemed not responsible to own weapons. None of these bills received hearings by the Republican chairs of their assigned committees.
“It is not just a travesty, but a scandal that the National Rifle Association controls Indiana’s ability to pass gun safety laws. They are arming teachers but doing nothing to reduce easy access to firearms by children. I will be filing bills again in 2020 to ensure all future gun owners pass a comprehensive background check, to ensure all firearms are stored safely, and to strengthen Indiana’s Red Flag Law.
“I call on the Indiana legislature and Governor Holcomb to get past their allegiance to the NRA and pass common-sense, meaningful protections for Indiana citizens to prevent the tragedies facing communities all across this country.”