Holcomb AWOL as state rep. blasts universal background checks

Gov long silent on gun reform policy supported by 90% of Hoosiers

INDIANAPOLIS – In April, Governor Eric Holcomb stood shoulder-to-shoulder with State Representative Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) on stage at the 2019 National Rifle Association convention to sign a bill loosening access to handguns. Today, Rep. Lucas took a strong stance against universal background checks on social media. Meanwhile, Holcomb hasn’t said much, he hasn’t even tweeted offering condolences for a pair of mass shootings this weekend. 

The near-complete silence is in line with the governor’s approach to gun reform. Holcomb danced around a question about taking steps to prevent mass shootings in an interview in December. He instead pivoted to a focus on mental health to prevent further violence. He laterbuckled to ultra-conservative lobbyists’ efforts to remove any mention of mental health from a school safety bill.

The NRA referred to Holcomb as “one of us” in his introduction at the group’s convention held in Indianapolis this spring. Holcomb spiked the football, signing a bill live on stage in a move that members of a bipartisan parents group, Noblesville Stands Together, blasted in a May op-ed.

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody wondered whether Governor Holcomb would side with Lucas or the 90% of Hoosiers who support commonsense gun reforms like universal background checks.

“You are the company you keep and Governor Holcomb spends his with lawmakers who believe universal background checks won’t save lives. Governor Holcomb needs to choose a side: the 90% of Hoosiers that support commonsense gun reform or the gun lobby,” said Zody. “Half-answers won’t cut it. The governor needs to lead and clearly state his support for universal background checks.”

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