Policy & Advocacy

Youth violence is a significant public health problem that affects thousands of young people each day. Preventing youth violence requires a comprehensive approach. The Marion County Youth Violence Prevention Coalition (MCYVPC) prioritizes policies that support communities and address firearm access.

Various Policies and Programs that Support Communities

  • Measures that strengthen household financial security and increase affordable housing.
  • Efforts that enhance early childcare access and quality.
  • Efforts that improve access to healthy food with a focus on food deserts and low access areas.
  • Measures that expand youth serving programs—summer employment programs for youth, and mentoring, after-school programs focused on building self-control, social skills, and decision-making.
  • Efforts that expand mental health care in schools, including the implementation of suicide prevention programs, mental health screening programs, and trauma care for students in need.

Various Policies and Programs that Address Firearms

Universal background checks:
Under current federal law, only federally licensed firearms dealers must request a firearm background check before a gun can be transferred. Private gun sellers, like those at gun shows or online, are not required to request a background check. If the background check takes longer than three business days to complete, the seller is permitted to complete the transfer even if the background check is not complete. (This is known as the Charleston Loophole.)

Safe storage and child access prevention:
Safe storage laws limit accessibility to guns by unauthorized users, including minors, through practices like requiring that guns be locked in a secure place. Child access prevention laws impose liability on adults who allow children to have unsupervised access to guns.

Concealed carry and open carry:
The state has substantially weakened the restrictions regarding the concealed and open carry of firearms in public spaces in recent years, expanding the number of users who are authorized to carry loaded handguns in public as well as the number of public locations in which individuals can carry firearms.

Stand Your Ground laws:
These laws allow a person to use deadly force in public, even if they know they could safely avoid any need for violence by simply stepping away from the incident.

Waiting periods:
A waiting period law requires a certain number of days to pass between the purchase of a firearm and when the buyer can actually take possession of that gun. By delaying immediate access to firearms, they can help prevent impulsive acts of gun violence, including gun homicides and suicides.

Ghost guns:
These are self-assembled firearms that can be built from kits or created with 3D printers. Ghost guns do not have a serial number, making them untraceable by law enforcement, and they often lack a metal component, making them undetectable by metal detectors.

Domestic violence firearm prohibitions:
Gun safety laws can prevent firearms from being used as tools of intimidation, coercion, and abuse by keeping people from accessing guns after they have been convicted of domestic violence crimes or while they are subject to active court orders against domestic violence.

Extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs):
Extreme risk laws allow families, household members, or certain key community members to petition a court to temporarily restrict a person’s access to guns if they pose a significant risk of harming themselves or others. This vital tool saves lives by allowing the people who are most likely to notice when someone poses a risk with a firearm to take concrete steps to disarm them.

Community violence intervention work:
Limiting access to guns is an important component of any strategy to save lives, but it’s equally important to invest in the evidencebased—and remarkably effective—community-driven programs that disrupt cycles of violence and support people in crisis. These can include group violence intervention, relationship-based street outreach, and hospital-based violence intervention.

For more information on these policies and others, visit Giffords Law Center’s gun law hub.

Advocate for Gun Safety Policies

The 2023 state legislative session may have come to an end, but Congress is in session. Tell your elected officials, we need immediate action to prevent gun violence and save lives. You can advocate for gun safety and gun violence prevention measures such as:

  • Background checks for gun sales at gun shows, on the internet, or between private individuals
  • Increasing the Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess Firearms
  • Child Access Prevention and Safe Storage Laws
  • Assault Weapon & Large Capacity Magazine Bans
  • Increasing the Funding for Gun Violence Prevention Research
  • Modernizing the Background Check System

Marion County comprises the entire 7th Congressional District and a portion of the 6th Congressional District. Not sure who your Representative is? Click here to find out.

Senator Todd Young

251 North Illinois Street, Suite 120
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (317) 226-6700
Email: https://www.young.senate.gov/contact/email-todd
Twitter: @SenToddYoung
Facebook: @SenatorToddYoung

Senator Mike Braun

115 N. Pennsylvania Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (317) 822-8240
Email: https://www.braun.senate.gov/contact-mike
Twitter: @SenatorBraun
Facebook: @SenatorBraun

7th District | Representative Andre Carson

300 E Fall Creek Pkwy. N. Dr., Suite 300
Indianapolis, IN 46205
Phone: (317) 283-6516
Email: andre.carson07@mail.house.gov
Twitter: @RepAndreCarson
Facebook: @CongressmanAndreCarson

6th District | Representative Greg Pence

18 E. Main Street, Suite 210
Greenfield, IN 46140
Phone: (812) 799-5233
Email: https://pence.house.gov/contact
Twitter: @RepGregPence
Facebook: @RepGregPence


Hello, my name is [FILL IN]. I am calling [NAME OF OFFICE HOLDER] to discuss [BILL NUMBER/ISSUE]. I urge support for [BILL NUMBER/ISSUE], because it represents an important step toward making us all safer by reducing gun violence. I am [A SURVIVOR OF GUN VIOLENCE/WHATEVER IS APPLICABLE TO YOU], and this issue is vitally important to me. I live in your district, and I vote.


Advocacy Toolkits

Giffords Law Center Implementation Toolkit • National Coalition Against Domestic Violence • American Public Health Association • Gun Violence Archive • Beautiful Trouble Toolbox • Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Prevention and Policy: Education • American Association of Suicidology and Harvard School of Public Health: Means Matter • Giffords: AAPI and Disarming Hate • National Indigenous Resource Center • Gays Against Guns • Delta Research and Educational Foundation • National Education Association and Teachers Unify to EndGun Violence • Newtown Junior Action, March For Our Lives, and Team Enough  Stop Handgun Violence