Despite Red Flag Law, Indiana Gun Restrictions “Relatively Weak”

Friday, August 9th, 2019 9:14am

By Nadia Ramlagan, Indiana News Service

In 2017, Indiana had the 20th highest rate of gun deaths among the states, according to the Giffords Law Center for Gun Violence Prevention.

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(Indianapolis, Ind.) - More than 900 people each year in Indiana are killed with guns, and some experts say the state's gun laws are relatively weak in terms of restrictions. 

The state bars people with a record of domestic violence from purchasing or possessing guns, and requires retail handgun dealers to obtain a license. 

But Indiana legislators could be doing much more, says Laura Cutilletta, managing director of the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Her organization keeps track of gun legislation passed in each state, and ranks states on an annual scorecard.

"Indiana, every year, has not fared well in our scorecard," Cutilletta states. "It receives a D-minus. And the reason for that is because it really has very few laws on the books to curb gun violence."

In Congress, Republican Rep. Susan Brooks of Indiana has pointed out that Indiana has a so-called red flag law, enacted in 2005, which allows police to temporarily take guns away from people who are believed to be a danger to themselves or others. 

Still, guns are the second leading cause of death for children in Indiana. 

And from 2013 to 2017, more than 1,000 people under age 25 lost their lives in gun incidents. 

Cutilletta has a list of possibilities she says state lawmakers could start working on to curb gun violence.

"Like require background checks between private parties, or prohibit assault weapons, or large capacity magazines, or require a license for firearm ownership," she states. "And a host of other things that it could do."

Indiana currently has no law regulating military grade assault weapons. 

Cutilletta notes the federal ban on assault weapons expired in 2004. Since then, Congress has failed to renew it.

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