INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 22, 2016) - Are more guns in more places making us safer or do they make our world more dangerous?
“What I know is if gun ownership made us safer as a society we’d be the safest country on Earth, but we know that's not true,” said Stephanie Grabow with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
But what do gun rights advocates have to say in response?
“With all due respect the facts would prove those people wrong,” said State Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour).
In the state of Indiana, guns are more popular than ever. More than one out of every ten Hoosiers holds a gun permit- third in the nation- trailing only Alabama and South Dakota.
That's nearly 600,000 Hoosiers permitted to carry a gun.
“We’re generally a very pro-gun state right now,” said gun rights attorney Guy Relford.
“In Indiana, there are very loose gun laws and we have lots of guns everywhere,” counters Grabow.
And groups like Moms Demand Action say those guns are in more places than you might think, as you go about your average day.
In the video above, we illustrate some of the places you might find guns during the course of an average day, from grocery stores to movie theaters to bars.
“Most Hoosiers don’t even know that you can carry a loaded gun into a bar or restaurant where alcohol is served,” said Grabow.
So now they've started a new campaign, called Safety First, going to local bars and restaurants to try and convince them to change their mind on guns.
“They’ve always been in more places than what people realize,” said Rep. Lucas, who has also called for open carry on college campuses, where it's currently not allowed.
And he says the fact that more people have more guns in more place isn't a bad thing at all.
Lucas says it’s a matter of personal safety.
“We’re seeing not just a spike in gun sales but were also seeing spikes in training classes and especially among woman,” said Lucas.
Experts like Guy Relford say the spike in sales isn't just because of politics- but also because people want to protect themselves when they hear of violent crimes in the news- like the murder of Amanda Blackburn.
“Where it happened, to whom it happened, all of that was really disconcerting to an awful lot of people,” said Relford. “Whenever there’s a highly publicized home invasion or a series of them like we saw on the north side then the phone rings.”
The phone has also been ringing at Tim’s Shooting Academy.
“People realize that you have to protect yourself sometimes,” said owner Tim Tomich.
Tomich says they’ve been busier than ever at his shooting range in Westfield.
It's where we found Phil Redd, who has been teaching his daughter Deybrian how to shoot all kinds of guns.
“For women to have that confidence to stand on their own two feet… I think it’s very important for almost any father,” said Redd.
“Knowing that if something were to happen, that I can protect myself,” said Deybrian. “’`m good in that situation.”
Mary Heath and her husband are also learning how to shoot – for the very first time.
“I would just like to have some protection in case something would happen,” said Heath.
“I think people are scared, but I think there's other ways to deal with personal safety,” said Grabow.
And the idea of more guns in more places isn't sitting well with Grabow’s organization.
“There are sensitive places where guns have no place in the hands of individuals,” said Grabow.
“I'm of the mindset that every lawful person should be able to carry pretty much everywhere,” said Lucas.
But with more mass shootings in the news, and questions about mental health, gun rights, background checks and school safety- it's a debate that's as fiery as ever.