State lawmakers pushing to make convenience stores safer

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (January 18, 2016) - Following Friday’s deadly convenience store shooting, state lawmakers are looking at ways to make convenience stores safer.

“I’ve been on every side of town on this issue… The north, the south, the east, the west, this is happening everywhere,” said State Representative, Ed Delaney (D – Indianapolis).

This time it was the Cumberland Express Mart. It was closed Monday after an employee was shot and killed there by a would be robber Friday night.

“Other states have acted but it doesn’t seem to be important enough to our General Assembly, sadly,” said Delaney.

Delaney is attempting to introduce a bill called Marcy’s Law. It would force convenience stores to implement safety measures like installing bulletproof glass, more lighting, and a safer store layout.

“The holdup is, the low end convenience stores, and we’re standing in front of one of them, just don’t want the regulation,” said Delaney.

This is not Delaney’s first attempt to pass Marcy’s Law which is named after a convenience store employee shot in the head in 2011. Delaney blames the holdup on store owners who don’t want to pay thousands to make major safety changes.

“Nobody cares more about the safety of their employees than convenience store operators. They spend a great deal of money and time looking for ways to make their stores safer,” said Scot Imus, the Executive Director of the Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores Association.

Imus says stores are doing all they can to stay safe and that state lawmakers should be focusing more on the root cause of this crime and not holding store owners accountable.

“If you look at the tragedy that happened on Friday, Representative Delaney’s bill would not have even been in effect for that location,” said Imus.

IMPD officials released this statement regarding Marcy’s law:

“IMPD officers see firsthand the dangers faced by employees working at businesses with overnight hours. It is premature to offer comment on legislation that has yet to be drafted.  However, we certainly encourage business owners to invest in protective measures to increase safety for their employees.”

Indianapolis City County Council is not allowed to require that convenience stores make safety changes; that is prohibited by a state law that says localities can’t regulate certain industries.

For now Marcy’s law has not been introduced, Delaney is seeking support from his colleagues which he said he has not yet received.

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