New Indiana State Laws: Guns in Church, School Bus Safety, School Alert System

New Indiana State Laws: Guns in Church, School Bus Safety, School Alert System

New Indiana state laws went into effect July 1, and there are some key changes to school bus laws, firearm legislation, and overall school safety.

293 new Indiana state laws went into effect July 1, and some of them will directly impact church and school safety.

There will now be harsh penalties for those who pass school buses while the “stop arm” is extended and children are entering or exiting the bus. These penalties can range from paying a fine to the suspension of a driver’s license.

Last year, three children were killed and one was injured after a woman passed a school bus while the stop arm was extended. While the woman faced felony charges due for homicide, it was only a Class A misdemeanor for anyone who recklessly passed a school bus while the stop arm was extended. Now, if the driver passes the school bus while the “stop arm” is out, and the failure to comply with the law results in injury or death, the individual will face a level six felony.

Another law put into effect July 1 states that individuals who are legally authorized to carry a firearm may possess it in a church or religious building that’s connected to a school as long as the religious institutions permits firearms. Furthermore, it is not allowable to bring a gun into a school building when it’s being used by a house of worship that allows guns.

In regards to school safety, county sheriffs and local school corporations can request grants from the Indiana Secured School Fund to set up active event warning systems modeled on Porter Country’s process. In using this, a mobile application will alert all area on- and off-duty law enforcement at the local, state and federal levels in response to an active shooter or other emergency situation at a school.

Furthermore, school districts will now be authorized to hold a voter referendum on whether to hike property taxes by up to 10 cents per $100 of assessed valuation for up to an 8-year period to pay for school safety needs.

About the Author

Kaitlyn DeHaven is the Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.

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