Noblesville parents upset over senator's vote on juvenile gun legislation

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NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — A group of Noblesville parents say they are upset with their state senator for opposing what they call common sense gun legislation.

The authors of Senate Bill 16 say it’s meant to close a loophole.

Right now, if someone is convicted of a violent crime in juvenile court, they could be allowed to purchase guns when they turn 18.

This bill would change that, making the gun-purchasing restrictions more like those we see in adult court.

This is an issue that hits home for the Noblesville community.

In 2018, a 13-year-old shot a teacher and student inside a classroom.

The group Noblesville Stands Together has since been advocating for what they call common sense gun legislation.

The group says they were disappointed when they found out their state senator voted against this bill.

“As a parent in Noblesville and someone who was very much affected by gun violence from a juvenile, I really feel like if she was representing her constituents, she would have voted for this bill,” said Noblesville resident Stephanie Lambert.

Senator Victoria Spartz  released the following statement regarding SB 16:

I am supportive of what this bill is trying to accomplish, but I have several concerns. I take all restrictions on rights and freedoms very seriously and believe due process is crucial, especially when we are painting with a broad brush.

We took that concern to the bill’s co-author, State Senator Mike Bohacek.

“We’ve actually scoped this down just to serious violent crimes and only when using a firearm. Because as someone under the age of 18, you aren’t legally allowed to own a firearm.

“I think this is proportional, and I think it makes sense and has the support of the Indiana’s Prosecutors Association,” said Senator Bohacek.

Senator Spartz also told us she is concerned that the bill could impose longer gun-buying restrictions for juveniles than if they were charged in adult court.

Despite the opposition of Senator Spartz’s and five other senators, the bill is moving forward with bipartisan support. It now heads to the house for consideration.

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