INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An average 907 people die by guns in Indiana every year according to the group Moms Demand Action. Leaders say, it’s time action is taken at the state level in hopes no other person has to lose their life in this way.
On Monday, more than 200 volunteers gathered at the statehouse in hopes lawmakers hear why they want to prioritize gun safety.
“We want to have discussions with them about gun violence in Indiana,” said Patricia Rettig, the Communications Lead of Indiana Chapter of Moms Demand Action.
Rettig says, the circle city is dealing with a crisis.
“Honestly, for me it makes me angry a lot because I know a lot of these shootings are completely preventable,” Rettig added.
She’s part of the group Moms Demand Action who are demanding action by their representatives.
“We have gun owners, we have democrats, we have republicans, we have a whole crossroads of America in our organization,” said Rettig.
The group met with lawmakers to discuss their priorities this session. One of their main focuses is to introduce safe storage laws. According to Moms Demand Action nearly 350 children unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else every year.
“I will talk to gun owners and they’ll say well it’s hidden, they don’t know where it is and that’s great. Odds are we have found actually through doing data and research that they do know where it is,” said Rettig.
The group is also pushing for a background check law.
“Some legislators will say it doesn’t exist, but it does,” Rettig added, “What that is, is when someone purchases a gun without a background check, and they can do that legally. We know one out of four guns that are purchased are done without a background check and that’s terrifying.”
Several bills address firearms this session. There’s a law being discussed, that would prohibit bump stocks and increase the age to buy a rifle to 21. Another law would increase penalties for juveniles who commit gun-related crimes.
“This is an issue that we see a shooting happen, then we see thoughts and prayers, and I think for me it’s about policy and change,” said State Senator J.D. Ford.
Senator Ford met with members of Moms Demand Action. He agrees, something needs to be done.
“I know it gets a little controversial, but at the end of the day we’re seeing children being massacred in our schools,” Ford added, “I know that’s strong language but that’s exactly what’s happening.”
Rettig says, it’s about not taking away anyone’s rights, but adding responsibility to those rights.
“We’re trying to keep guns out of the wrong hands,” said Rettig.