President Obama criticizes Indiana’s ‘lax’ gun laws

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(Jan. 8, 2016) – Indiana’s gun laws are in the spotlight both at home and on a national level after getting the attention of President Obama.

The president blamed Indiana’s gun laws for gun violence in Chicago during a town hall meeting Thursday. The comments echoed similar ones he made in October.

“Well, the problem is, is that about 30, 40 percent of those guns are coming from Indiana, across the border, where there are much laxer laws,” Obama said.

The president said anyone who profits from a gun sale should have to follow the same rules as other gun dealers like registering and undergoing background checks.

“They go to a gun show in Indiana, where right now they don’t have to do a background check, load up a van, and open up that van and sell them to kids in gangs in Chicago -- if now that person has to go through a background check, they’ve got to register, ATF has the capacity then to find out if and when a gun is used in a crime in Chicago where that gun had come from. And now you know here’s somebody who seems to be willing to sell a gun to a 15-year-old who had a known record.”

Indiana Rep. Vernon Smith (D-Gary) is sponsoring House Bill 1149, which would close what some see as a major loophole in Indiana. Right not, if you’re not a licensed dealer, you can sell or gift a gun to someone without documenting the transaction. The bill would change that, requiring you to send a sales receipt to Indiana State Police within one day of the transaction.

Earlier this week, Gov. Mike Pence discussed the state’s gun laws and said he supports the right the bear arms.

“I believe that firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens makes our communities more safe, not less safe,” Pence said.

Local gun advocates freely admit, Indiana is a gun friendly state, but they say there is no connection between those laws and violent crimes.

“It`s sad but laughable at the same time,” said state Rep. Jim Lucas (R) District 69. Lucas is fighting in the statehouse to make Indiana even more gun friendly.

This year he introduced a bill that would allow legal gun owners the right to carry without a license, a bill known as constitutional carry.

“As long as you`re not prohibited from carrying, it makes no sense why we force people to jump through hoops,” said Lucas.

Unlike some states, Indiana does not prohibit guns in bars and places that serve alcohol.

There`s also no law to prevent carrying guns into Indiana movie theaters, but Indiana`s restrictions on purchasing firearms is similar to other states.

“Only 19 percent of guns used in crimes in Chicago come from Indiana so he essentially doubled the number,” said second amendment attorney Guy Relford.

“We have relatively few restrictions in where someone can carry a gun. I would say we`re pro second amendment in those areas, but as far as who can buy a gun, I disagree we`re lax in any way.”

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