Gun debate continues at the Indiana Statehouse this year

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. —The cry for more gun legislation in Indiana is being heard by lawmakers in 2020. Several bills address firearms this year. 

There aren’t any gun laws on the Republican agenda this year. However, that doesn’t mean conservative lawmakers aren’t proposing firearm bills. 

“I am confident that there is going to be a lot of Hoosiers that might disagree but I ask them to take their time and read the bill,” said Democratic State Sen. Greg Taylor.

He said his proposal is common sense. 

“We’ve seen an uptick in tragedies,” explained Taylor.

He believes a law that would prohibit bump stocks, and increase the age to buy a rifle from 18 to 21 would help. 

Currently, people 18 and older can buy a rifle but have to be 21 to buy a handgun with a smaller magazine.

“So, I think that’s ironic and something we need to change,” said Taylor.

Another Democratic Senator, Mark Stoops is working on a bill that would require safe storage.

“If you have a gun in your home and you think it can be accessed by a child or by somebody who is legally not supposed to have guns, then you need to have it locked,” said Stoops. Under this bill, gun owners could face up to two and a half years in prison if they fail to keep their guns locked and it results in an injury or death.

He also wants a new universal background check law. 

“It actually fixes a loophole where private parties can buy and sell guns between themselves bypassing the background check requirement,” said Stoops.

Republicans are proposing firearm bills too. One would increase penalties for juvenile delinquents who commit gun-related crimes. Another has already passed the Senate Judiciary Committee. This law would allow retired law enforcement officers to carry firearms on school property. 

“There would be no reason why they wouldn’t be a benefit to school security," said Chase Lyday, the President of the Indiana School Resource Officer Association. "Just being around, picking their kid up, dropping things off, being involved on school campus and having a weapon on them, they would certainly be qualified to do that.”

We asked Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray if any of these gun bills have his interest. 

“I can’t answer that for you just yet,” said Bray.

We’ll continue following any gun legislation this session, there could still be more. The deadline to file bills is Thursday.

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