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WRTV Fact Check Friday: Why is it difficult to build a red flag law case?

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Posted at 5:00 AM, Apr 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-23 09:53:09-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The Marion County Prosecutor decided not to pursue the red flag law when authorities took a shotgun away from the FedEx shooter.

The prosecutor said he didn't have proof as the law requires that Brandon Hole had a pattern of violence or mental instability or a failure to take prescribed medication.

QUESTION:
What makes it difficult for a prosecutor to build a case in 14 days against someone who has a weapon seized due to a mental illness?

ANSWER:
Brandon Hole legally bought a shotgun on March 2, 2020. A day later, on March 3, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers came to his home after his mother said he talked about dying by suicide by cop.

The weapon was removed and on March 10, Hole told IMPD to keep the shotgun.

In July and September 2020, he went ahead and legally bought two riffles.

On March 11, IMPD said they sent the case to the Marion County Prosecutor's Office.

Under the red flag law, the office had 14 days to file a case in a court asking a judge to ban Hole from his shotgun and stop him from buying other weapons.

Prosecutors had limited information on Hole's mental health. He legally owned the gun and wasn't committed to a psychiatric facility or prescribed medication after undergoing an evaluation.

Prosecutors could subpoena medical records, but the challenge is, under the law, people have 30 days to respond to a subpoena, which makes it difficult to build a case in 14 days.

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