Faith group urges Gov. Holcomb to strengthen gun safety laws

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A group known as Faith in Indiana is calling on the state to strengthen gun safety laws in response to recent mass shootings across the country, as well as ongoing gun violence in Indianapolis.

The group rallied inside and outside the statehouse Tuesday with songs and signs.

Their leaders entered Governor Eric Holcomb's office with a letter. 

“We’re not leaving until it gets into the hands with someone with authority,” said Reverend Shonda Gladden, the CEO of Good for the Soul.

She and two other leaders sat in the lobby of the Governor's office until that person arrived.

“Because there are 100 faith leaders, plus their congregations who have entrusted us with delivering this letter,” said Rev. Gladden.

That letter eventually got into the hands of the state legislative director and will now go to Gov. Holcomb. It calls for a ban on assault weapons, mandated background checks and investments in public health approaches to curb gun violence.

"So, we know that over 80% of Hoosiers support background checks for gun sales, so we want our governor in this next legislative session to do something about that," said Rev. Suzanne Wille, with the Episcopal Church of All Saints. "We also believe that weapons that were made for war – assault weapons – should not be in the hands of everyday people."

Gov. Holcomb’s press secretary, Rachel Hoffmeyer, said, "Governor Holcomb will always look closely at the overall needs and best interests of our state as he aims to keep Indiana moving forward in the best way possible. There is no higher priority than the safety and security of Hoosiers. Indiana works to prevent tragedies through efforts including our red flag law, school safety funding and legislation and partnerships through local, state and federal law enforcement officials."

The letter also calls on U.S. Senators Todd Young and Mike Braun to pass a background check bill that passed in the house, but neither Senator has come out with support for this potential legislation.

Faith in Indiana knows federal legislation takes longer. That’s why they’d like to see change start with the state.

“We’re just praying for the state of Indiana, for the city of Indianapolis, and we do believe that at the end of it all, we’ll do what’s good to the soul," said Rev. Gladden.

The group is asking for a meeting with the Governor about this topic within the next 60 days.

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