In the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting, gun control advocates across the country – including Indiana – are making a renewed push to tighten restrictions on gun sales. But they’re getting mixed messages from the incoming Pence administration.
Stephen Dunlop is president of the group Hoosiers Concerned About Gun Violence. His organization is proposing a series of changes to Indiana’s gun laws, including a limitation on the number of handgun purchases made at one time and punishment for gun owners when a child gains access to an unsecured firearm and injures themselves or others.
He also says he doesn’t want to hear from gun owners who say they’re worried the government’s going to take away their guns.
“I don’t think there’s any movement by anybody interested in gun violence to forcibly remove guns from people, perhaps with the exception at this point of assault weapons,” Dunlop says.
Governor-elect Mike Pence has been ambivalent on the subject of increased gun control, saying only that he will defend the right of law-abiding citizens to own guns.
Incoming Indiana State Police chief Doug Carter – whose agency provides gun licenses in the state – says he doesn’t know yet whether current law is good enough.
“I can’t stand up here and tell you what’s right with the system or what’s wrong with the system but I can tell you, in very short order, I’ll be able to,” Carter says.
Dunlop is pushing the Indiana General Assembly to take up the issue, including a study of the state’s gun violence and its relationship to mental health issues.