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Bills moving through the statehouse aimed at gun laws and gun safety

Dozens rallied at the statehouse Wednesday
Posted at 5:00 AM, Feb 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-15 19:45:05-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Dozens of moms and students students stood at the statehouse to say enough is enough.

They're tired of gun violence and calling on Indiana lawmakers to make a difference.

"We can't even catch our breath. We cannot mourn. We cannot grieve before there is another shooting tragedy," said Shannon Watts, Moms Demand Action Founder.

Deandra Dycus has been a voice for her son Deandre and Moms Demand Action for the last several years. Deandre was shot in the head nine years ago by a stray bullet while attending a birthday party.

DeAndra Dycus and Dre.JPG
DeAndra Dycus and her son, Dre.

She's fighting for stricter gun laws.

"[Indiana gun laws] are too lax. We need to make sure we are being intentional about background checks, firearm safety. We need to make sure we have safe storage and holding those without safe storage accountable, making sure we are talking about gun education as well," said Dycus.

RELATED: Mothers impacted by gun violence talk about change during National Gun Violence Survivors Week

More than two dozen bills are moving through the statehouse, which the authors will say make gun laws safer in our state.

moms demand action statehouse

One of those bills is House Bill 1347, which incentivizes gun owners to take gun safety classes and purchase gun storage devices.

If approved, it allows Hoosiers to get a $300 tax credit for those expenses.

Senate Bill 358 covers overall firearm safety.

The proposal establishes a gun safety and suicide prevention fund to allow funding for schools and non-profits to provide training for firearm safety.

The bill would also make storing an unsecured firearm neglect of a dependent unless the firearms is locked, unloaded or the manner it is stored is objectively reasonable.

The bill as its written right now would require gun owners to report missing weapons within 24 hours.

It would also demand gun owners take a safety course and require dealers to provide a safe storage device.

Several bills are in the works right now to help protect students in the classroom.

Senate bill 113 would allow retired police officers to carry a firearm on school property under certain conditions.

The retired officer must have served for 10 years or more, have a valid ID and meet annual training and qualifications.

Another bill, House bill 1177 aims to arm teachers with gun education classes.

Bill 1177 would create a specialized firearms safety class that teachers could opt into for free.

"The trauma that our kids have to live in classrooms as if they were living in a third world country or in a war zone, trying to be trained to deal with their own anxieties and own issues of thinking that one day someone might walk in that classroom and they might never make it back home. Our kids should not live in fear," said Sen. Fady Quddoura.

According to Indiana code, it's up to each school board to decide if teachers can carry guns at school.

The 40-hour training class is something the author of the bill, state representative Jim Lucas feels is needed.

Other bills regarding firearms include: