INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The mayor of Indianapolis is considering a bold and probablycontroversial step to curb violent crime in the city.
During a deadly summer time stretch of Central Indianaviolence, Mayor Greg Ballard gave his police department an order.
"Reduce violent crime. That's all I told them. I said "allthis other stuff you're doing', I don't care," said Mayor Ballard.
As pace of murders slowed, but never stopped the mayor saidhe kept searching for answers.
"I'm just looking for the "big hit", the big impact ofviolent crime. That's what I keep going back to, that's what Ireally want to do if it can have a dramatic impact," said Ballard.
Then in November, Ballard got inspiration from, of allplaces, a football star that shot himself in the leg. Giant PlaxicoBurress is fighting 3 years in prison, not for the shooting, butfor the weapon. Even if Burress had never fired, New York hasmandatory jail time for carrying a gun that's not registered withthe city. Ballard thinks what works there might also work in Indy.
"I wonder about our gun laws. Should we be harsher with ourgun laws," said Ballard.
Ballard's idea is clearly still in its earliest stages. Hetold 24-Hour News 8 his hopes before he even mentioned them to hisown staff or public safety director. He revealed it, unexpectedly,during an otherwise routine interview about his first year inoffice.
"I'd like to look at gun laws, frankly. Penalties for illegalguns," said Ballard.
Ballard said he knows many will oppose the idea, and he wantsto make clear what kind of guns he'd target.
"I have no problem with second amendment legal guns. Noproblem what so ever on that. It's the illegal guns that areconcerning," said Ballard.
New York's mayor pushed the issue through at the city level.But, Ballard said he'd have to work with state government andacknowledges Indiana lawmakers may not have the time in 2009.
"It may be a down-the-line issue. It's a very tough session.I'm not sure anybody will be paying attention at this point intime. I expect the session to be about government reform and thebudget this time," said Ballard.
Mayor Ballard said he's not sure how and when he will try totake the next step, but he's convinced that in the effort to endviolent crime; illegal guns are a good place to start. Ballard mayfind support from the mayors of two other large Indiana cities.
The mayors of Fort Wayne and South Bend have signed on to aneffort by New York's mayor to strengthen illegal gun laws.
An Indianapolis mother was sentenced in court Thursday for child neglect charges.
Officials with the Indianapolis Colts say tickets are still available for the Colts vs. Texans game Sunday.
Fire crews in Anderson were on the scene of a building fire Thursday afternoon.