Indiana Moms Demand Action released the following statement in honor of the 15th anniversary of the Jake Laird Law, an extreme risk law enacted in 2005 that made Indiana one of the first states in the country to enact a red flag law. Jake’s Law is named after Officer Timothy “Jake” Laird, who was shot and killed responding to a domestic violence call in 2004.
“As we continue to fear an increase in firearm suicide throughout our state during this time of uncertainty and isolation, knowing the Jake Laird law is on the books is a source of relief,” said Patricia Rettig, a volunteer with Indiana Moms Demand Action. “On the anniversary, we remember Officer Jake Laird and the other brave Indianapolis first responders who respond to violence involving firearms. The Jake Laird law is an important reminder of the lives we can save when our leaders come together to act after a tragedy.”
Indiana Moms Demand Action volunteers will host a virtual event tonight at 7:30 p.m. to discuss what Jake’s Law is, its purpose, and how advocates can act to make sure that other states enact this life-saving policy. Among the participants are Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts, U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), and Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears.
Evidence shows Indiana’s red flag law has been effective in preventing firearm suicide. In the 10 years after the law was enacted, the state’s firearm suicide rate decreased by 7.5 percent. Another study found that the law averted one suicide for approximately every 10 gun removals. The Indiana legislature should look to Jake’s Law as an example of how lawmakers can come together after a tragedy to act and prevent future tragedies – and continue to lead other states in the fight against gun violence.
Every year, over 900 people die by firearms in Indiana, and gun deaths have increased 30 percent in the last decade compared to an 18 percent increase nationwide. The rate of gun suicide has also increased 24 percent in the last decade compared to a 19 percent increase nationwide.
Statistics about gun violence in the state are available here, and information on how Indiana’s gun laws compare to other states’ overall is available here. Indiana Moms Demand Action volunteers are available for interviews.