The head of an anti-gun violence group testified Monday in a committee hearing on proposed legislation that would allow licensed gun owners to keep their guns locked in their cars on school property, which is currently a felony.
Shannon Watts is the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, an organization founded in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting.
She says the proposed bill strips the rights of schools and school boards from determining how to best protect their students.
“Schools do not want firearms on their properties and neither do the mothers of Indiana,” Watts says. “This committee should not ignore the voices of experts on this issue and work only to serve those who support this bill –the gun lobby and a small group of parents who wish to carry a gun to their child’s school.”
Trevor Santos, the state liaison for the National Rifle Association, says current law unfairly punishes law-abiding citizens:
“There are thousands – tens of thousands – of permit holders here in the state of Indiana,” Santos says. “They have been vetted by the state, they’ve gone through background checks to have their permit and we feel that they should not become a felon because they crossed an imaginary line.”
The House and Senate deadline to pass the bill is Friday.