On Tuesday, State Senator Mark Stoop (D-Bloomington) filed two gun safety bills for the upcoming session. This came one day after Indiana Senate Democrats announced that putting an end to preventable gun deaths was a top priority for 2020.
Both his proposals are bills that were denied committee hearings or voted down as amendments last session by the supermajority. Senator Stoops is filing his bills again as child access to firearms, gun violence and gun accidents continue to rise.
Senator Stoops’ Senate Bill (SB) 28 is focused on closing a dangerous loophole in Indiana law that allows individuals to bypass background checks when purchasing firearms privately and at gun shows. Although Indiana already requires background checks, people are able to forgo that important step by purchasing guns from private parties. This bill would fix that issue by requiring all gun sales to be conducted by a licensed Indiana firearms dealer who would be required to perform background checks on all sales.
His second bill, SB 29 Child Protection Act, is aimed at preventing children from gaining access to guns due to improper storage. The proposal would require parents or individuals who are gun owners to properly store or lock their weapons when there is a reasonable expectation that children could gain access to them. Injury or death that results from a gun owner’s failure to properly store their firearms would be a Level 6 felony.