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Exterior of the City-County Buliding

Source: (Photo: Chris Davis/WIBC)

INDIANAPOLIS — A proposal that would ban the sale of “assault weapons” in Marion County, as well as end permitless carry and raise the legal age to buy a gun in the county, has advanced out of a city-county-council committee.

With all but four councilors on the committee voting in favor of the measure, Proposal 156 will now head to the full consideration of the Indianapolis City-County Council.

However, if the full council passes the legislation it may be a moot point.

“This council, because of the gun preemption law and other state laws, currently lacks the authority to enforce the gun safety measures we will be discussing tonight,” said Matt Giffin, Indianapolis corporation counsel. “It will not take effect and will not be enforced immediately upon passage.”

State lawmakers already have laws on the books prohibiting municipalities in Indiana from passing any gun legislation that is stricter than that on the books with the state. That has not stopped Mayor Joe Hogsett from demanding the proposal be approved by city-county councilors.

“These policies were selected because they are supported by the vast, vast majority of the people in city of Indianapolis,” said Hogsett. “(The state’s gun policy) is a bad policy, and I will continue to fight for the people of Indianapolis to have the right to craft their own laws on this critical issue.”

Hogsett said that he is even receiving threats recently telling him to “back down”, which he stated he refuses to do so.

Republican councilor Brian Mowery was among those who voted against it. He has a hard time seeing how these proposals, even if they were enforceable, would help tackle the issue of violent crime in the city.

“In Indianapolis, there are a lot of things that are illegal,” he said. “You can’t speed. People still speed. How is this actually going to change folks that are going to do these bad actions? I don’t see this being able to deter the bad actors.”

Mowery placed the issues with crime on the prosecutor’s office, which he said: “won’t prosecute.” He added that criminals will always get firearms illegally.

The full city-county council is expected to take up the proposal for final approval at its next meeting on July 10th.