The Indianapolis City-County Council passed Mayor Joe Hogsett’s gun control plan on Monday night. The decision is in response to concerns over violent crime in the city.
Unveiled in May, Hogsett’s plan splits into two parts. The first proposes stricter gun restrictions, subject to state law changes.
- Raising the handgun purchasing age to 21
- Mandating handgun licenses
- Banning concealed carry w/o license
- Banning so-called “assault weapons”
A 2011 state preemption law currently blocks cities from regulating guns. Despite this, the council voted along party lines, 18-5, in favor of Hogsett’s gun control proposals.
The second part, unanimously approved, targets serious offenders.
Indianapolis will hire three federal prosecutors. They’ll report to the Southern District of Indiana’s U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Violent Crimes Unit. The unit focuses on serious violent and gun crimes.
The city’s corporation counsel’s office will fund the new prosecutors. This year’s budget allocates $225,000 for their salaries, with future costs covered by the office.
Mayor Hogsett praised the council’s decision.
“Tonight’s Council votes on Proposals 149 and 156 prove that Indianapolis and its leadership won’t back down from taking bold steps to protect residents and neighborhoods,” said the mayor on Monday night.
“I applaud the Council’s bipartisan support for funding our partnership with U.S. Attorney Zach Myers, holding the worst of the worst offenders to account,” he continued.
“I also wish to thank those who approved our common-sense gun safety measures, increasing the purchasing age to 21, requiring handgun licenses, and removing the concealed carry of firearms. Tonight we are sending a clear message of where we stand about the causes of gun violence and the proliferation of illegal weapons on our streets,” he concluded.
Every Republican councilor, totaling five, opposed the gun control measures.
During the council meeting, Minority Leader Brian Mowery articulated his disapproval.
“I’m voting against this because I disagree with the toothless language and the policy itself, but also because it likely violates state statute and the state constitution,” he said, according to the IndyStar.
He further expressed concerns about the proposal likely contravening state statute and the constitution. Mowery cited the opinion of the Indiana Office of the Attorney General, stating that the proposal breaches the state preemption law.
There’s no doubt it does violate the state’s preemption law. As such, one can argue it isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. That said, the second proposal — the hiring of prosecutors — may help to put and keep bad guys behind bars.
We’ll see. As always, stay tuned for updates.