State Sen. Merritt Wants Law Requiring Secure Gun Storage
INDIANAPOLIS — A state senator from Indianapolis wants to require Hoosier gun owners to keep their guns in a secure place away from children.
Republican State Sen. Jim Merritt told WISH-TV that he came up with the proposal after the May 25 shooting at Noblesville West Middle School.
At trial, the 13-year-old shooter told a judge that he found the keys to his family's safe, unlocked it, and removed two guns and more than 100 rounds of ammunition that he brought to school in his backpack.
"In the state of Indiana, there's no law about gun storage," Merritt told WISH. That's what we're trying to get to. We support the right to have arms, but we just want the guns to be stored safely in our homes.
There's not a demarcation in the home of where the gun has to be. There just has to be a storage system in a home where the children just cannot get to them."
State Sen. Merritt believes his proposal would send a strong reminder to parents that "safety is number one. Should your child get a hold of a gun, then you're responsible."
If the proposed bill were to become law, Merritt said police would be limited in their methods of enforcement.
"This would not enable law enforcement to go into a home and check to see if your guns are stored safely."
Merritt added that the measure would be more "reactive", meaning that it might give police cause to go into a child's house after a shooting and find out if guns had been stored within the bounds of the law.
Merritt said he's reaching out to the National Rifle Association right to get suggestions on how the bill could be improved. He's not sure how the legislation will be received in the Statehouse, but he told WISH that he's hopeful for bipartisan support.
(David Williams contributed to this article.)
(Photo by lenzjona/Thinkstock.)