In response to Tuesday’s (May 24) mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 children and 2 adults dead, State Rep. Vernon G. Smith (D-Gary) is urging his Indiana Statehouse colleagues to act on concerns that the ‘permitless carry’ law (HEA 1296) going into effect on July 1 will yield even more senseless violence in Indiana. With HEA 1296 in place, a person 18 years and older who has successfully purchased a handgun will not need to take any additional steps to get a license before carrying.
“The permitless carry law signed into effect by Governor Holcomb is opening a dangerous floodgate for many 18-year-olds who may not be conscious of the responsibility of owning a gun. Science tells us that human brain development is not finished at 18 years of age, and when combined with access to firearms, that could lead to situations that our country has seen so many times before, like in Uvalde, Parkland, Sandy Hook, and countless other mass murders,” Smith said.
“With over 200 mass shootings in 2022 alone, my colleagues never should have brought this bill forward, let alone passed it into law. I am imploring the supermajority who have a sensitivity to this issue to use their power. We must put pressure on the governor to act immediately and call a special session to reverse this harmful legislation before it is too late.”
Additionally, Smith has noted that the Uvalde shooting highlights the need to invest in the well-being of the people in our state:
“So many Hoosiers are struggling, and it is our duty to help them,” Smith added. “We should be channeling more funds into ensuring everyone has adequate access to housing, healthcare, and education. One program or policy alone is not going to reduce gun violence, but through a comprehensive public health approach, especially in communities that are disproportionately impacted, we can save lives.”