Gun Bills Die In Senate And House, But Could Be Resurrected


Gun bills die in Senate and House but could be resurrected

By Abrahm Hurt and Quinn Fitzgerald

INDIANAPOLIS—Legislation that would have allowed guns in a church with a school on the property appeared to all but die in the Indiana House.

On Thursday—the House deadline for bills to be amended—Senate Bill 33 was not called down for discussion by either the sponsor, Rep. Mike Speedy, or House Speaker Brian Bosma, both Indianapolis Republicans.

But Bosma was not ready to bury the bill, saying he was looking for another vehicle for the gun legislation.

House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis. Photo by Bryan Wells,

“There’s still two weeks,” he said. “I wouldn’t call it a decision at this point, but we’re just talking about options.”

Current law bars guns on school property but SB 33 aimed to change that by allowing gun owners to carry the weapon when attending worship, working or volunteering for the affiliated church.

When asked if he was avoiding voting on controversial topics, Bosma said that was not the case.

“We’re trying to make smart public policy for Hoosiers and that isn’t always by voting on every amendment that somebody can dream up and throw up in the second house on second reading on the last day,” he said.

The bill had 19 amendments that ranged from banning bump stocks on assault rifles to one that would bar the state from regulating firearms, ammunition and their accessories.

Rep. Carrie Hamilton, D-Indianapolis, who authored the bump stock amendment, said she was hoping that the legislature could have had a conversation about gun regulation.

“A majority of Americans support common-sense measures to reduce gun violence,” she said. “On behalf of my constituents, I have to stand here to express my disappointment that we couldn’t have this conversation, that we couldn’t debate and vote on reasonable measures.”

Just two weeks ago, a gunman entered a Florida high school and opened fire, killing 17 people and injuring dozens more. The events have sparked debate at both the state and federal level about the availability of guns and whether they should be more tightly regulated.

In the Senate, House Bill 1424, which that would have dropped licensing fees for lifetime gun permits, failed did not get a hearing in the Appropriations Committee, meaning that it, too, could be dead.

President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne. Photo by Emily Ketterer,

But Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, left open the possibility that some legislation might advance this session.

“We’ll try to focus on what’s doable and what’s not,” Long said.

In answer to a question, Long said he was not avoiding debate, but the issue has become very political.

“I think people are saying let’s just calm down and move what was originally intended and not start debating any big possible issues under the sun regarding guns because that’s exactly what happens in these moments,” he said.

When asked about what he would like to see in conference committee regarding gun regulation, Long said he would have to wait and see what happens. Conference committees are where differences between House and Senate versions of the legislation have to be resolved. It is also where legislation that has apparently failed can be revived by being included in bills that have passed both chambers.

“I think there’s some consensus surrounding the permit issue as maybe as far as waiving a fee or something along those lines,” Long said. “Beyond that, it’d be hard to say if anything else is appropriate particularly given the mood of the state and the country right now.”

FOOTNOTE: Abrahm Hurt and Quinn Fitzgerald are reporters for, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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