More lawmakers join fight against dangerous gun modifications
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A growing number of Indiana lawmakers are trying to crack down on gun modifications that can turn a handgun into a machine gun.
The Indiana House of Representatives members moved House Bill 1365 through the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday with a 9-2 vote.
The bill would make it a felony to possess a device that attaches to a handgun, transforming it from a semi-automatic to a fully automatic machine gun. They’re commonly known as Glock switches, or auto sears.
The devices are already a felony under federal law but are not under Indiana law unless the device is attached to a gun.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, The Plainfield Police Chief, The Fraternal Order of Police, and the Indiana Sheriff’s Association all testified in support of the bill.
During the meeting, The Republican Chair of the Committee, Rep. Jerry Torr, asked to be made a co-author of the bill that Democrat Rep. Mitch Gore wrote.
I-Team 8 asked Torr why, “It’s putting the lives of law enforcement officers and others in jeopardy in the community,” he said.
“It’s a testament to the fact that the majority and the minority can get together on common sense issues even on contentious topics like guns,” Gore said.
During the committee meeting Gore pointed out how easy it is for criminals to get their hands on these devices.
It took I-team 8 under five minutes of internet searching to find blueprints to make a 3D printed device and instruction videos of how to install it.
“It’s practically impossible to control a handgun with one of these devices attached and the result is that collateral damage is happening throughout our communities. houses, cars, bystanders are at risk from bullets spraying widely,” Gore said.
An Indiana gun parts manufacturer testified against the bill Wednesday.
They agree with the intent of the bill to punish criminals who have them, but they disagree with how the bill is written.
“That’s why it goes through two houses and often a conference committee in order to make sure the language is as tight as it needs to be to accomplish what we’re trying to accomplish without infringing on rights of others,” Torr said.
House Bill 1365 is similar to Senate Bill 343, which will be discussed in committee next week. Both bills would update Indiana law to match federal law. The author of the House bill doesn’t view the Senate bill as competition.
“It’ll all get worked out by the end and we’ll have, I believe, a great comprehensive bill to address some of these issues.” Gore said.
The final form of the bill will be decided in both chambers at the Indiana Statehouse in the coming weeks, or months.