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VP Mike Pence addresses American Legion Convention in Indianapolis, touts value of 'Jake Laird Law'

Posted at 8:42 PM, Aug 28, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS — Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence returned to the Hoosier State for a quick trip on Wednesday.

Pence first addressed the National Convention of the American Legion. He highlighted where the Trump administration stands when it comes to the military, veteran health care, and foreign policy.

After that speech, Pence took part in a round table discussion at the state police museum with law enforcement and elected officials about Indiana's red flag law, known here as the 'Jake Laird Law.'

The law was passed in 2005, just months after the death of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer Jake Laird.

It allows officers to take possession of someone's guns if there's a threat to public safety. Laird was gunned down by a mentally ill man in August 2004.

Laird's mother, Debbie, sat next to Pence during the meeting, where he credited the law with saving countless lives.

"We will always stand for the right for law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms," Pence said. "We'll stand for the second amendment always. But we're absolutely determined to examine ways that we can make sure that people with serious mental illnesses don't have access to firearms. And the Jake Laird Law, here in the state of Indiana has been used nearly 1,000 times here in Indianapolis alone; it's undoubtedly saved lives."

Pence also said the law needs to be changed regarding capital punishment.

He said the administration is working with members of Congress to expedite the death penalty for anyone who engages in a mass shooting or takes the life of a law enforcement officer.