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Committee advances ‘unenforceable’ gun control ordinance

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis City-County Council’s Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee advanced a gun control ordinance that some are saying is “unenforceable.”

The ordinance would raise the age to buy a gun in Marion County from 18 to 21, end permitless carry in the county, and ban many types of what the council calls “semiautomatic assault weapons,” including:

  • Certain types of semiautomatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns
  • Shotguns with revolving cylinders
  • All AK-type and AR-type rifles and pistols
  • All IZHMASH Saiga 12 type shotguns
  • All belt-fed semiautomatic firearms

“To take effect, if and only if, the legal hurdle to their enforcement was to go away,” said Corporation Counsel member Matt Giffin.

The Indiana General Assembly passed a law in 2011 barring municipalities from passing and enforcing gun ordinances. Future legislatures would have to overturn that law in order for this ordinance to take effect.

Although the measure is largely symbolic, it was supported by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

Chief Randal Taylor blames the flow of high-powered guns into the community on the city’s rising homicide rate. IMPD was also on alert after Mayor Hogsett’s office confirmed that the mayor was threatened after proposing the ordinance.

“Pressures from political perspectives, well, that’s to be expected, but direct threats to me personally if I do not back down? I hope and I pray that none of you will experience those kinds of threats,” Hogsett told the council Wednesday.

Councilor Brian Mowery was one of four members who voted against the proposal in committee. He blames gun violence problems in part on lax enforcement of the law by the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.

“One thing this council body is tasked to do is to create ordinances that are in line with our purview. This proposal now is not in that line. We’re saying ‘What if?’ These ‘what if’ statements don’t work,” Mowery said.

The proposal is set to be voted on by the full City-County Council on July 10.