STATE HOUSE–Indiana must focus on school safety and making sure all schools maintain safety standards, rather than changing state gun laws, said Gov. Eric Holcomb, responding to questions about the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school.
“The schools, the most local governing bodies, cannot let their guard down and we won’t let them down when it comes to the funding to help them do their job,” said the governor, after a press conference announcing an economic investment by Eli Lilly, Wednesday.
Holcomb said that during his administration the state legislature has made sure schools across the state have received more than $100 million for safety.
“We have the means and we have the financial wherewithal to make sure that our schools maintain their integrity. That means one port of entry. That’s why we make sure they have wands, if needed,” he said. Holcomb added that schools must submit safety plans, and some are doing so now.
“This legislature has been very accommodating in making sure that we have the funds, those grant dollars, to make sure that those plans are not just put into place, but enforced,” said Holcomb. He said that schools need to maintain their integrity. “You might call it hardening them when children are in the classrooms.”
But, when asked if any gun laws should be changed, Holcomb said he believed further restrictions would violate the U.S. Constitution.
“We’re not going to, I believe, in the State of Indiana, take steps to restrict individuals who lawfully can purchase a gun, for sport or defense for themselves,” he said. But, Holcomb said there’s room for discussion in dealing with people who should not own a gun, who may have violent mental health issues.
He also said there’s room for talking, in the legislature, about strengthening “red flag” laws.
He also asked all Hoosiers to pray for the people who are dealing with the loss in Texas, the only action which can happen immediately, and doesn’t require a vote from the General Assembly.