INDIANAPOLIS — As the nation mourns the loss of ten people killed in Boulder, Colorado on Monday, the conversation over gun control continues.
“I don’t need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common sense steps that will save lives in the future,”President Biden said Tuesday.
Biden is calling for stricter gun laws, urging Congress to ban assault weapons and pass legislation that would increase the strength of background checks, allowing the FBI more time to investigate applications that have been flagged.
“This is not and should not be a partisan issue,” he said. “This is an American issue this will save lives, American lives. And we have to act.”
This is happening while Indiana lawmakers are looking to remove the need for a permit to carry a handgun.
“A lot of people have no idea the number of people who are lawfully carrying a handgun in public every single day,” said Guy Relford, a local second amendment attorney. “Indiana now has over one million people that have received their license to carry a handgun.”
Looking back at the tragedy that unfolded on Monday, Relford argued, “I think in those states like Indiana that allow fairly broadly the exercise of Second Amendment rights by their citizens, we see less shootings like this because there are more people able to end those shootings that are out in public.”
So far this year, there have been six mass shootings in the United States. Two of those were in Indianapolis.
“But there are two kinds of mass shootings," Relford explained. “One is the random, public mass shootings, where someone shows up at a school or a shopping mall or in this case the supermarket and they’re just there to kill as many strangers as they possibly can in really as an act of terror. But that’s one kind of mass shooting. A very very different mass shooting is where the people know each other.”
The two mass shootings in Indianapolis happened on January 24, where a 17-year-old boy was in a domestic dispute with his family when he killed five family members. The other occurred on March 13, when a 25-year-old man shot his girlfriend before killing four others in a dispute over stimulus checks.
“That’s a dramatically different event,” Relford said. “That’s something where unless there’s a police officer sitting in the living room while all that unfolds, that’s going to be very very hard to deter or to prevent because these people know each other and it’s not in public typically.”
Anti-gun advocates argued how tightening gun laws could prevent these kinds of killings. An overwhelming majority in the House passed the bill removing the need for a gun permit, but it has still not been scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
House Bill 1369 is not on the Senate’s agenda to be discussed Wednesday. It only has two more opportunities on March 31 and April 7 to be heard. Otherwise, the bill dies without a vote.
The bill would not change who can carry or how people purchase a firearm. To buy a gun from a dealer, you would still have to go through a background check.