IFCL Presents Scorecard of 2022 Bills
Every session, IFCL volunteers try to follow bills that reflect Quaker values and oppose those that do not. Over the last session, we supported some excellent bills like HB 1313 that promotes voluntary lead testing in all young children, not just those on Medicaid. There were several bills we opposed that attempted to limit voting access or to make non-partisan jobs partisan. After legislators went home at the end of the session, we prepared a scorecard which ranks legislators according to how they voted on bills relating to issues that IFCL prioritizes.
One very concerning bill that became law last session was the removal of a required permit to carry a firearm, which was opposed by most police organizations. This points to the general issue of firearms and public safety. Recent horrific events have caused IFCL to elevate firearm safety as a focus, and we have prepared a separate scorecard showing how legislators voted and ranked on this chronic issue last session.
IFCL recognizes the rights based in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Several of our members grew up in families that hunt or shoot clay pigeons, and were taught the importance of gun safety: never pointing a weapon at someone, removing ammunition and keeping the firearm in a locked cabinet when not in use, etc. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that the Second Amendment gives Americans the right to have a firearm in their home for self-protection.
But we believe that the Second Amendment presents safety issues for all of us, gun owners or not. We believe something with obvious and profound public safety implications like gun use and ownership should be regulated, just as we regulate automobiles. Congress and the states have the power to regulate gun safety. We believe that all Americans have the right to go to school or worship or grocery shop or attend a concert without fear of being torn apart by weapons designed to do so. The exercise of those rights and freedoms should not be swallowed up by a boundless exercise of “the right to keep and bear arms.”
Accordingly, we believe that the purchase of all firearms should require a background check and mental health check, a 3-day cooling off period, an extensive gun safety course, repeal of liability protections for gun manufacturers, and a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Certain firearms such as military assault rifles are designed to kill by doing as much internal damage to the human target as possible, making survival unlikely. The carnage they can wreak is increasingly evident in our headlines and our lives. We believe that they have no place in civilian society outside of a “well-ordered militia.”
Modern firearms have become more lethal and available than ever before. Their ownership and use require regulation to provide safety for our children, our families, our neighbors—for all of us. Unfortunately, legislators in our state are mostly ignoring the need for regulation of firearms, and in fact have been busy removing safety measures.
Friends believe there is always a chance for reconciliation and transformation with others. IFCL will continue working to ensure that that chance is not cut short by the presence of a gun, in the wrong hands, at the wrong time, leading instead to tragedy.
To learn more about how our Indiana legislators voted, see the links below. The first link is a summary scorecard of major bills we followed. The second link is to firearm regulation.