FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE/AP) – The Indiana House has approved a bill allowing guns to be stored in cars in school parking lots. The House voted 74-24 to approve the measure Monday evening on a largely party-line vote. The Senate approved a similar measure last month on a 28-21 vote. The issue now heads to negotiations to iron out differences in the two versions.
Supporters of the measure say it would protect parents who inadvertently commit a felony by bringing their guns while picking up their children. But opponents worry easier access to guns could lead to school shootings. The bill originally was intended to ban public gun buy-backs in Indiana, but lawmakers gutted that language. Only private funds or grants could be used to fund buy-backs if the current version of the bill passes.
Many local school officials said this isn’t a great idea.
“We don’t want to encourage our staff members or our parents to bring a weapon into school, even in an event of an emergency,” said Krista Stockman, spokesperson for Fort Wayne Community Schools.
Chris Himsel, Northwest Allen County Schools superintendent, told NewsChannel 15 he hopes this legislation doesn’t create a loophole for students who are junior and seniors in high school to bring a gun to school. East Allen County Schools spokesperson Tamyra Kelly didn’t want to make ..releasea comment on the issue until it’s been discussed at Tuesday’s school board meeting. Southwest Allen County Schools didn’t respond to our request for a comment.
Parents share the same views as some of the school districts.
“It’s sad that it has to be this way, but that’s a dumb thing to even ask about putting guns on school property,” said Tom Cook.
State senator Dennis Kruse co-authored the bill. NewsChannel 15 reached out to Senator Kruse for a response, but he was unavailable for a comment.