INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WLFI) - Our local legislators say change needs to happen after the tragic mass shooting at the Indianapolis FedEx that left eight people dead.
State Representatives Sheila Klinker and Chris Campbell and State Senator Ron Alting all said they woke up to the shocking news on Friday along with the rest of nation. Former FedEx employee Brandon Hole, 19, opened fire at the Indianapolis FedEx center, killing four people in the parking lot and four people inside the building. He then turned the gun on himself and took his own life.
This tragic situation brings the question of gun reform and mental health straight to the heart of Indiana.
State Rep. Klinker said it's about finding balance with the 2nd amendment.
"I am a believer in the 2nd amendment," she said, pointing out that she knows many responsible gun owners who use their weapons for hunting. "I think legislatively we will be looking in the mental health area and stronger background checks."
For State Sen. Alting, it's about interpreting the 2nd amendment in our modern world.
"Until we put strict guidelines in on gun laws, that if you have any type of mental illness you cannot and will not purchase any type of gun period," he said. "This is the world we live in now."
State Rep. Campbell wants to see loopholes closed.
"I think we definitely need to expand our background checks to make sure that we are closing those loopholes," she said. "The problem with our Red Flag laws is it allows that person to go out immediately and obtain another weapon."
Indiana is one of 17 states with a Red Flag law. According to the Indiana State Police website, "this law addresses circumstances where it would be appropriate for a police officer to take custody of a citizen’s firearms, by way of a warrant, or immediately when exigent circumstances are present and it can be clearly articulated the safety of the public was in jeopardy."
It said a judge can order that a person be prevented from purchasing a gun in the future from a licensed firearm dealer.
Hole had his gun confiscated last year after his family contacted the police, warning them he might try to die by suicide by cop. The Marion County Prosecutor did not take the red flag case to the courts. So Hole went out a few months later and legally bought the guns he used in Friday's crime.
"We need to get back to common sense and do what's right for all people, what's right for the people with the right to bare arms and what's right for those with mental illness," said Sen. Alting.
"The tragedy is that he not only took his own life, but he took eight others," said Rep. Klinker. "We need to put resources back towards mental health."
"My heart breaks for the families, both of the victims and the person in the mental crisis," said Rep. Campbell.
With only a few days left in the legislative session, there isn't much that can be done at this point to pass any new bills regarding gun reform. However, all the three legislators believed something could be done this session in terms of allocating more funding towards mental health services. Especially given Indiana's recent finding that the state will have an extra $2 billion to use over the next two years.