DeLaney and Melton offer last-ditch gun reform effort after state law fails to stop FedEx shooting
INDIANAPOLIS – State Representative Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis) and State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary) today proposed a Conference Committee Report (CCR) for Senate Bill 413 that would have revamped the legislation as a new gun reform bill in response to recent violence that has shaken the Indianapolis community.
Their changes would have mandated universal background checks for gun sales and set legal penalties for failure to comply. It would also have instituted a ban on the sale of assault weapons, as defined by the report as selective-fire firearms capable of fully automatic, semiautomatic or 35-burst fire at the option of the user.
“Our community has once again been rocked by a horrific act of violence and it demands a response from us,” DeLaney said. “This is our chance to listen and take swift action. They deserve to know that we are doing whatever we can to keep this from happening again.”
“Last week’s shooting in Indianapolis was a tragedy,” Melton said. “It’s heartbreaking to know that eight families are now in mourning because of a senseless act of violence. No matter where you are in the state or country, this tragedy hits home for us all.
“That’s why I’m disappointed to see the General Assembly, after last week’s tragedy, turn around and continue to reject common-sense gun safety legislation that Hoosiers have requested. Indiana residents have already voiced their desire for gun safety laws, like universal background checks, to reduce the violent cycle that has become the norm in our nation. All Hoosiers want is the freedom to do everyday tasks like go to work, attend school and run errands without fearing for their lives because elected leaders have once again failed to act on the issue of gun violence.”
The proposed CCR was rejected by the bill’s author, who claimed that it was not germane and wouldn't be able to pass in the Indiana Senate. The Republican Senate supermajority recently passed a resolution declaring that it is their policy to oppose any restrictions on the type of guns sold in Indiana and to refuse compliance with any federal gun control legislation.
“Change to protect Hoosiers has to start here and it has to start now,” DeLaney said. “But the only changes the supermajority wants to propose are putting more and more guns out there in our communities. That may play well at the Republican National Convention, but it doesn’t play for the safety of Hoosiers.
“These are not radical suggestions. If you ask the people who we serve, you see bipartisan support. The people want universal background checks. The people want to keep assault weapons out of our communities. Above all, they want to feel safe.
“It is nothing short of a moral failing to stand by and do nothing. I for one will not be resigned to that. If we don’t take action now, it must be our top priority next session. The people of Indiana deserve nothing less.”
“Our communities deserve safety and peace of mind when they go out into the world—we can't keep waking up to mass shootings announcements,” Melton said. “As a state, we need a comprehensive study of our gun laws and an implementation of the gun safety changes that Hoosiers have demanded to keep them and their loved ones protected. Every time we fail to act on this mass shooting epidemic rocking our nation and state, we condemn more citizens to becoming victims to these types of tragedies. We must put an end to this violent cycle, and that starts with changes being made here in the General Assembly. This session is almost over, but my caucus will be fighting during the remaining time in this session, as well as next session, to see common-sense gun legislation approved into Indiana law. Our residents don’t deserve to live in fear of the next mass shooting.”