INDIANAPOLIS — How was FedEx shooter Brandon Hole able to get the guns he used in last week’s mass shooting in Indianapolis? Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears blames some loopholes in the state’s “red flag law.”
Last year, police took away Hole’s shotgun, after his mother reported that he was having suicidal thoughts. The gun was never returned, and Hole went to therapy.
“The individual was voluntarily committed for a brief period of time,” Mears said. “The length of that stay was measured by hours, not days or weeks. And no follow-up medication was prescribed.”
Mears says because of that, and the gun being surrendered, the prosecutor’s office didn’t move forward with the red flag law to deem Hole as a dangerous threat. He also added that if they did move forward with a red flag hearing, and they had lost, they would’ve had to give the gun back to Hole, which is what they wanted to avoid.
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“I think it’s important to note that this case does illustrate some of the shortcomings that exist with this red flag law,” Mears said.
Mears says they would only have 14 days to access medical records and mental health records, which limits what they can do and find.
The biggest flaw in the red flag law, in Mears’ opinion?
“The sad reality is that during the pendency during these matters, there is nothing prohibiting that individual to go out and purchase an additional firearm or 20 firearms,” he said. “They are free to do that until there is an actual documented finding where a judge says ‘I can find clear and convincing evidence that this person has a propensity for violence or mental instability.”
So what would Mears change about the state’s red flag law?
“If a judge makes that probable cause determination, that we think there is probably cause to take that weapon from somebody, then that should be a standard of that person should not be permitted to purchase another firearm. I think it’s a common sense solution to a problem that we have before us.”