Crime Watch 8

How Indiana's red flag law could help take guns out of dangerous hands

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) -- In the wake of a Florida school shooting that killed 17 people, the national debate over gun control has intensified, with some taking a closer look at the laws in each state.

Indiana is one of five states with a "Red Flag" law, and one local lawyer says the law could help prevent a tragedy like the one in Parkland from happening here.

It's designed to get guns out of the hands of people deemed "dangerous."

Many Hoosiers have never heard of the law -- they don't even know it exists.

"This is an incredibly unique law for the state of Indiana to have a basically restrictive gun control law," said Jack Crawford, a criminal defense attorney in Indianapolis.

He said it's been on the books since 2006.

"If anyone has reason to believe that an individual has a propensity toward violence, or may have indications of violence as a result of mental deficiencies, or as a result of some type of documented threat, they can notify police. Police can get a search warrant to take the weapon, or any weapon that may or may not exist," said Crawford.

The attorney said there have been no reported cases of the law being acted on in Indiana, but one of the posts suspected Florida school shooter, Nikolas Cruz, made online prior to the shooting would've been enough for police to seize his weapons under Indiana's version of the law. The post read, "I am going to be a professional school shooter."

"If that history exists and police are notified, then they can go into that person's house, search for a gun, take any gun that he has," said Crawford.

To get the firearms back, Crawford said that person would be required to ask for a hearing and prove to a judge that they are not "dangerous."

The law could raise some debate, especially among supporters of the Second Amendment. Some may argue the law goes too far.

"Our desire to have safety for our children and our schools of course is paramount, but then when you run it up against issues of what people can say or do on the internet, you are going to get a backlash," said Crawford.

California, Connecticut, Oregon and Washington also have versions of a red flag law.


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