Council fails to override Ballard veto on controversial gun ordinance

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 11, 2016)-- Monday night the Indianapolis City-County Council failed to override outgoing Mayor Greg Ballard’s veto of a controversial gun ordinance.

The proposal barely passed the council back in December, but Ballard vetoed it, saying it was against state law.

State law does not give local governments the power to regulate gun laws. Critics also said the proposal could open up the city to lawsuits from gun rights groups.

The ordinance would’ve required gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms within 48 hours in an effort to curb crime.

“If I had the opportunity, I don’t care if the NRA wants to sue,” said Councillor Joe Simpson, “I’m tired of the killing. The people are tired of the killing.”

“Before I could support a proposal like this, I would need to know the data about where guns used in crimes are coming from,” said Councillor Marilyn Pfisterer, “I don’t know that this proposal would really have any serious impact.”

After discussion back and forth, the council failed to override Ballard’s veto in a 10 to 14 decision.

Next on the table was a proposal to give councillors a $5,000 raise, paying them almost $16,400 yearly for their work. Ballard vetoed that too, saying it shouldn’t have been passed during the leadership transition.

“I still do my job, but it is hard when you get such a small amount to make up for the amount of time you’re giving up,” said Councillor Jeff Miller.

“This was brought up at the last minute,” said Councillor Jack Sandlin, “We’ve had plenty of opportunity through the course of the year knowing that there would be a new council this year to consider a proposal, give the community plenty of opportunity and time to comment on it.”

The council raise proposal would fail as well, in a 10 to 14 decision.

With the proposals behind them, the council will now look ahead. Council President Maggie Lewis says the focus in 2016 will be public safety.

“I think most of our time and energy really is going to be about addressing crime,” said Lewis.

Lewis will serve as 2016 City-County Council President, while Zach Adamson will serve as 2016 City-County Council Vice-President.