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Indy mayor's plan to combat gun violence includes ending permitless carry, raising the age to buy a gun

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Posted at 2:56 PM, May 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-01 17:50:06-04

INDIANAPOLIS — On Thursday, Mayor Joe Hogsett announced new plans to combat gun violence across the city.

Hogsett is taking a multi-prong approach and is asking the City-County Council to pass several ordinances focused on regulating guns.

Those ordinances would ban AR-15 military-style guns, raise the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 years old to 21 years old and ending permitless carry in Marion County.

Even if those ordinances are passed, they could not be enforced unless they are approved by lawmakers at the statehouse, because of Indiana law.

In April, two metro police officers were shot in the line of duty during a gun investigation.

An AR-15 style rifle was used. The mayor called on the U.S. Attorney's Office to step in.

That's where the plan to ban military type rifles, abolish the permitless carry law and raise the legal age to purchase a gun-- emerged.

"That will help us take the worst of the worst off our streets along won't be weapons of death they pedal to our residents," said Mayor Hogsett.

The city needs the help of lawmakers to enforce the ordiances.

"None of us were really for going away from permits to carry weapons. I still that was a mistake, hoping that can be reversed," said IMPD Chief Randal Taylor.

One part of the mayor's plan that does not need approval from lawmakers are "gun free zones."

Organizers holding events on public property can ban guns from their events with a permit. The city says metro police will help with enforcement.

Also included in Hogsett's plan were pieces that did not need approval from lawmakers, including aggressive deployment of City resources to combat nuisance properties that tolerate or encourage the illegal use of firearms and allowing private groups to designate "gun free zones" on leased-out public property.

"If property owners with constant gun issues fail to respond with common sense measures like adequate security, we will now seek to hike them liable under state nuisance law for their role in maintaining a threat to public safety. If you’re a bar or business owner know that we will no longer tolerate you forcing taxpayers to pick up the tab for your irresponsible business practices," said Mayor Hogsett.

Additional pieces of the mayor's plan include increased attempts to retain and bring new officers in at the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

New hires at IMPD currently receive a $10k signing bonus. Next year, under the new city budget, first and second year officers will have that $10,000 added to their salaries

Other IMPD officers with 3+ years experience will get a bonus up to $2,500.

The plan also includes a partnership with the United States Attorney's Office. The city will be hiring three city criminal attorneys that will work with US attorneys office to help crack down on those committing these crimes.

These three staff members will be city employees but work for the U.S. Attorney's Office. This is a two-year partnership that will focus on violent crimes and gun violence.

"These federal charges usually result in these bad actors being taken off our streets. It will result in stiffer penalties, require offenders to serve a min of two-thirds of their sentence and in federal facilities far from Indianapolis," said Mayor Hogsett.

The initiatives also include focus on stricter prosecution — something Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears is in agreement on.

Hogsett says the passage of these ordinances would help legislators know the needs of the city.

In addition, the city is unveiling a new “I Choose Peace” pledge with Indianapolis Public Safety Foundation to provide outlets for neighbors, organizations and businesses to share why they choose to eject violence and promote peace in their neighborhoods.