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Indiana Crime Guns Task Force report shows Gore’s machine gun legislation at work

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On April 20th, House Enrolled Act 1365 authored by State Rep. Mitch Gore (D-Indianapolis) was signed into law with an emergency clause that put it into effect immediately. The bill moves to change the definition of a “machine gun” under Indiana Code to include conversion devices that convert semiautomatic firearms into functionally automatic weapons. These devices were used in numerous shootings over the past year in Indiana and pose a unique public safety threat as they can be purchased cheaply, or even 3D printed. Changing the definition makes it so that those found in unlawful possession of a conversion device would face a level 5 felony. Prior to this legislation, there was no clear state policy on how to charge people with possession of conversion devices despite them being federally illegal. 

A recent report conducted by the Indiana Crime Guns Task Force (ICGTF) showed that 20 conversion devices were seized so far this year (January - June of 2023). Due to Gore’s bill, Indiana’s prosecutors can now charge those 20 unlawful machine gun owners under Indiana state law. 

“As a law enforcement officer, my goal for this bill was always to reduce the risk to innocent bystanders and police officers that conversion devices pose as they allow an ordinary firearm to rapidly discharge dozens of rounds of ammunition,” Gore said. “Those individuals listed in the ICGTF report found with the 20 conversion devices will now, because of this bipartisan bill, face charges including possession of a machine gun. This ensures that all people found in possession of a machine gun – including a semiautomatic firearm converted into an automatic – will now face a uniform charge that will allow prosecutors to keep these violent offenders off our streets.”

The Indiana Crime Guns Task Force collaborated with federal agencies as well as local law enforcement in a two-year interstate investigation focused on a violent Fentanyl and Methamphetamine distribution network spanning from Indiana to Arizona. This investigation resulted in the seizure of 60 machine gun conversion devices along with copious amounts of illicit drugs and cash.

“I am proud to have clarified Indiana’s code so that the members of one of the largest drug distribution networks in the Midwest can be prosecuted in our state for owning these dangerous and highly deadly weapons,” Gore said. “I hope these seizures and prosecutions send a message to those who wish to do harm that the state of Indiana will not tolerate the destructive violence that these devices are intended to carry out.”

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