HB 1235 Sets a Dangerous Precedent by Inviting All Current and Future Defendants in Litigation in Indiana to Run to the Statehouse When Losing in Court, Undermining the Constitution's Checks and Balances.

Washington, D.C., February 28, 2024 – The City of Gary’s landmark legal case, City of Gary v. Smith & Wesson Corp., is under threat of annihilation thanks to a bill, HB 1235, that has now advanced through the Indiana Senate. HB1235 cleared the Senate with a 33-15 vote rejecting 23 years of Indiana law only shielding lawful conduct from liability. The common sense policy was defeated.

This legislation undermines the checks and balances established by the Constitution by enabling one branch of government to overpower another by the legislature giving itself judicial power. In this instance, the legislature is aggressively performing at the behest of a single industry – the gun industry – to prevent the courts from carrying out their judicial duties.

“This is an outrageous attack not just on the city of Gary’s case, but also on the Constitution itself,” says Philip Bangle, Senior Litigation Counsel for Brady. “This is not about the merits of Gary’s case, which have been found valid by the courts no less than three times on appeal. This is about Indiana citizens' and municipalities’ ability to seek justice in the courts. Allowing the legislature to usurp the judiciary is a slippery slope. If this bill is signed into law, it will reshape the justice system for generations to come. Any person – or corporation – with ample resources or special interest engaged in litigation in Indiana will see this as an invitation to simply appeal to the legislature to intervene if they are losing in the courts. Hoosiers deserve better, they deserve their day in court. They deserve justice.”

Proponents of HB 1235 have made grossly erroneous and widely debunked arguments in support of this bill.Read more here. Hoosiers are urged to call upon Governor Holcomb to VETO HB 1235.

Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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