State Sen. Mark Stoops, D-Bloomington, has filed two gun safety bills as part of the 2019 Indiana legislative session.
Stoops said the bills promote the safety of Hoosiers as both the state and country find ways to address the challenges associated with gun violence. Stoops said the issue is not going away, and while state legislators have been researching ways to make schools safer, there also needs to be a focus on circumstances in Indiana that make it easy for people who should not have access to guns to obtain them.
“This is the reality we live in in this country because of the easy access to firearms,” Stoops said. “None of these proposals are limiting access to guns by responsible adults.”
Senate Bill 307 would expand background check requirements for gun sales between private parties. The proposal would require that guns be sold or purchased through a licensed Indiana gun dealer and that the dealer perform a background check using the National Instant Criminal Background Check System when transferring gun ownership.
Stoops said expanding background checks closes a loophole in state law that allows people who should not have access to guns to purchase them. Stoops said data shows that a number of guns used in crimes in neighboring states were bought in Indiana due to the state’s lax gun-purchase laws. He said this reality encourages gun violence not only in neighboring states but in Indiana as well.
Other provisions of the bill would prohibit anyone younger than 21 from purchasing semi-automatic weapons and ban bump stocks and other devices. Bump stocks are attachments that when put onto a semi-automatic gun can make it shoot like a fully automatic weapon.