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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana House of Representatives on Tuesday passed House Bill 1365 to criminalize machine-gun conversion devices.

For weeks, I-Team 8 has reported about the machine-gun conversion devices, commonly known as switches and auto sears, that turn handguns into fully automatic machine guns.

The Indiana Senate is also trying to address the issue. The Corrections and Criminal Law Senate Committee on Tuesday passed Senate Bill 343.

Chris Bailey, assistant chief of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, testified in the Senate committee meeting about the dangerous trends the department is seeing with devices that turn a handgun into a machine gun. “We routinely identify both teenagers and adults producing these devices at home using 3D printers, and then selling these same devices to our kids and violent offenders.”

According to Bailey, 1 of every 6 guns taken off the streets by IMPD and used in 2022 in crimes had a machine-gun conversion device on it.

The trend has only continued in 2023. “In the past two weeks, in one investigation, our investigators have recovered 40 of these machine-gun conversion devices,” the assistant police chief told the committee.

Bailey also gave further evidence of why the devices are so dangerous on the streets. “It is common occurrence for Indianapolis police officers to recover 50 to 100 fired cartage casings in a single firearms-related, violent incident in our neighborhoods.”

The bill in the Senate would make possession of the device itself a felony in Indiana, which it currently is not unless it’s already attached to the gun. The House bill would do the same.

The main difference between the Senate Bill and the House bill is that the House bill focuses solely on these devices while the Senate bill also tries to address other issues, such as organized theft from businesses, and expungements.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana lawmakers are working to fight dangerous gun modifications.

I-Team 8 told viewers Thursday about switches that can turn handguns into machine guns last week.

State Sen. Aaron Freeman talked Tuesday about his bill that would tackle the problem. “Law enforcement just shouldn’t have to deal with this,” the Republican from Indianapolis said.

Freeman’s legislation, Senate Bill 343, would create stiffer punishments for people who possess Glock switches or auto sears. Indiana does not allow the possession of Glock switches or auto sears until they are attached to handguns. Federally, It’s a felony to possess the device, no matter if it’s on the gun or not.

“What I want to do is simply almost mirror the federal law,” Freeman said.

Freeman told I-Team 8 that the intention of his law is to target Glock switches and auto sears specifically. “I see this as a simple update to our code. I don’t see it as a fight about the 2nd Amendment. I don’t see it in any way restricting anything. We’re trying to help keep our community safe. We’re trying to keep our law enforcement officers safe and that’s my intention for the bill.”

The bill will be talked about in a Indiana Senate committee meeting next week. It’s one step of many before it could become a law.

State Sen. Lonnie Randolph, a Democrat from East Chicago, supports Freeman’s law because of the concern he has about the devices. “It makes me cringe because it makes it easier for someone young to create some of these mass shootings that going on across this entire country,” Randolph said.

Randolph told I-Team 8 he doesn’t want the conversation to stop with Glock switches and auto sears. He says he intends to bring up his own law that would increase the age someone needs to be to own a gun.

“Mine would raise that to 21. In order to buy alcohol or cigarettes, you have to be 21, so why not a weapon? A weapon is much more dangerous, I think, than those items, so I’m hoping to get a hearing on that,” Randolph said.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A judge gave Shane Osborne a $60,000 bond during his first court appearance Thursday.

He’s charged with three felonies because his unsupervised 4-year-old son was caught on camera waving a loaded pistol around in the hallway of Osborne’s Beech Grove apartment building.

Osborne’s mom was at the courthouse Thursday and was combative with members of the press.

She gave I-Team 8 the middle finger while walking into and out of the courtroom.

The judge in the case granted the prosecution’s motion for a stay-away order. It requires Osborne to have no contact with his son’s mother, neighbors who talked to Beech Grove police during the investigation, and Osborne’s mother.

In court, Osborne said, “I don’t understand why I can’t contact my mother. She’s the only person I have in the world.”

Osborne is facing two to 11 years in prison if he’s convicted of all three felonies. He was appointed a public defender when he told the judge he didn’t have any money in savings.

His trial is scheduled for March 20.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A boy died and a girl was in the hospital this week because of two separate shootings that Indianapolis police investigators believed were unintentional shootings.

I-Team 8 found out what police want gun owners to do to avoid unintentional shootings.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department wants people to think about gun safety in the home because unintentional shootings are too common.

Officer William Young, an IMPD spokesman, told I-Team 8, “So many times we’ve seen, and obviously today, where a young child was struck. We’re investigating obviously as accidental, but could of happened if whoever that gun owner is practiced those good gun safety tips.”

He tells I-Team 8 that the department is still investigating both unintentional shootings this week to determine exactly what happened. Young would not go into specifics about what happened during this week’s unintentional shootings but stressed that gun owners should constantly think about securing their firearms at home.

I-Team 8 went to Beech Grove Firearms to get suggestions. Manager Garrison Burge agreed keeping guns secure and safe so that children cannot gain access to the firearms is easy.

“Well, pretty easy. These locks right here were given to us from the Marion County Sheriff’s (Office). We hand (them) out for free.”

Beech Grove Firearms’ manager acknowledges not every gun owner is going to want to lock firearms away in a safe in case quick access is needed.

Burge also suggests never having a round of ammunition in the chamber and always keeping firearms in a place out of reach of children. He also says having important conversations with kids about guns is vital to gun safety in the home. “I believe the most appropriate age is probably between 7 and 9 years old depending on how mature that they are.”

The IMPD officer says he remembers having those same conversations with his parents. “Me personally, my father was a police officer, so firearms were pretty prevalent in our home, and I can remember probably when I was 8 or 9 years old where he started saying, ‘Hey, don’t touch my firearm. If you see it, let me know.'”

Young says gun safety in the home is also about knowing exactly how guns work to avoid accidental discharges that could hurt or kill someone. “It’s so important as a gun owner to get that training that you need,” he said.