INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (December 13, 2015) – The City-County Council is expected to vote on an ordinance Monday that is causing some controversy.
The ordinance would require a person who owns or possess a firearm that is lost or stolen to report it within 48 hours to metro police.
Sounds simple, but it’s not. Some say it’s actually illegal.
City attorneys say the ordinance violates state law that prohibits local governments from regulating firearms.
Attorneys also say Indianapolis could face drastic financial penalties and could be held liable if it passes and goes into effect.
At-large Councilman Kip Tew says the proposal doesn’t violate state code and doesn’t hold the city liable.
“I’m gonna try to pass it and force the mayor to deal with it because I think it’s a good idea, IMPD testified in committee that it would helpful,” said Tew.
Second Amendment attorney, certified firearms instructor, author and radio host Guy Relford says the proposal is a waste of time and money.
“It unquestionably violates the Indiana Firearms Preemption Act and there’s really no dispute about that.”
Relford also does not believe this ordinance will reduce violent crime in Indianapolis because the proposed ordinance is not enforceable.
There is no gun registration on the federal or state level tracking firearms ownership.
It is also a federal offense to steal a firearm.
City attorneys say many owners already report lost or stolen firearms and want that to continue, but requiring them to do so is against Indiana law.
Violators would face a $50 fine.
Mayor Greg Ballard has been advised not to support this ordinance.