IBLC members express concerns about Indiana’s permitless carry law, which goes into effect today
INDIANAPOLIS – After two years of record-breaking homicide rates in Indianapolis, an uptick in gun violence in Lake County and nationwide attention on gun violence following the mass shooting in Texas that left 19 children and two teachers dead, the Indiana GOP-backed permitless carry law went into effect today. Now, Hoosiers ages 18 and over will be legally able to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. Members of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus (IBLC) issued the following statement:
“In a year, we will likely be looking back on this day as the start of a huge uptick in violent crime in our state,” State Rep. Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis), chair of the IBLC said. “The surge of violent crime in Indianapolis over the last several years has disproportionally impacted African American males, and I sadly believe this will continue to be the case with permitless carry now the law of the land.
“Beyond crime at the hands of civilians, we must also concern ourselves with the danger this bill poses to Black Hoosiers interacting with law enforcement officers. Too often, our laws do not protect us. African Americans are killed by police over three times as often as our white counterparts, and are 20% more likely to be pulled over by an officer than white drivers. It is irrational to assume that African American Hoosiers practicing their right to carry a gun without a permit will be treated equally by police.
“This law not only puts every Hoosier at an increased risk of victimization, but poses a unique threat to African Americans who are already disproportionally affected by gun violence.”
“At a time when gun violence is on the rise throughout the state, it is irresponsible for Indiana Republicans to have championed this law,” State Rep. Earl Harris Jr. (D-East Chicago) said. “Not only is it irresponsible, it will have deadly consequences. As legislators, we have an obligation to protect Hoosiers, not put them in danger.
“As the Black caucus, we will continue to advocate for Black Hoosiers, who unfortunately will likely be disproportionally impacted by this dangerous law. We hope Hoosiers will continue to advocate for gun responsibility, and we will stand with them.”