Indiana attorney general issues reminder about law allowing police to take guns from ‘dangerous’ people

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Following a mass shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill wants to increase awareness of Indiana’s “Red Flag Law.”

The statute allows police to take possession of firearms from people they believe are dangerous.

“Like all Americans, I was sickened by the horrifying news last week out of Parkland, Florida,” Attorney General Hill said. “Tragedies like this one are staining our nation. As we lift up our voices in prayer for the victims and their families, we must renew our commitment to taking concrete actions to stop gun violence in our country.”

Indiana is one of five states in the country to have this law. It was enacted in 2005 after the the killing of Indianapolis police officer Jake Laird.

Laird died in the early morning hours of August 18, 2004. He and several other officers responded to 911 calls about shots being fired in the 2700 block of Dietz Street on the near south side of Indianapolis. Multiple officers became involved in a shootout with Kenneth Anderson, who was mentally ill and armed with a high-powered rifle.

Laird was killed when a high-velocity round tore through the car door he was taking cover behind and fatally wounded the four-year patrol veteran. Four other officers were wounded before Anderson was fatally shot.

Anderson had been admitted earlier that year to St. Francis Hospital for an emergency detention and had his guns confiscated by police. After his release, he wanted his guns back, and at that time police had no way to legally retain them. The “Red Flag Law” changed that.

Hill says he is sending a public safety advisory to prosecutors and law enforcement officers across the state.

A person is considered “dangerous” if the person presents an imminent risk of physical injury to himself or others. A person can also be considered dangerous if the person presents a potential risk of physical injury and has either been diagnosed with a mental illness and failed to take prescribed medication, or if there is documented evidence that the person has “a propensity for violent or emotionally unstable conduct.”

“Indiana’s ‘Red Flag Law’ is a common-sense measure that in no way inhibits the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens,” Hill said. “This useful provision is not as well-known, even among law enforcement, as one might expect. That’s why this week we are distributing a public safety advisory raising awareness of the law and urging police and prosecutors to make full use of it as we work together to protect all Hoosiers.”