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Indy Councilors Consider Gun Theft Fine Ordinance

Marcin Wichary

The Indianapolis City-County Council is considering an ordinance that would fine gun owners who fail to report, within 48 hours, when a firearm is stolen.

The proposal is being spearheaded by Councilman Kip Tew, but city attorneys think it could lead to trouble.

Second Amendment attorney and firearm hobbyist Guy Relford has spoken out against the measure publicly, calling it a violation of a state statute that prevents local governments from enacting individual gun restrictions.

“This is exactly the kind of patchwork, city-by-city, county-by-county, township-by-township, library board-to-library board piecemeal regulation that we were trying to prohibit through the Preemption Act,” Relford says. “We want local governments out of the firearm regulation business.”

He says if the City-County Council passes the measure, any individual who lives in Marion County, or has even driven through the county, could potentially file suit.

“So, what that says is, the minute they pass this thing, there are approximately 1,000,000 people in Marion County and anyone else who drives through, which is how many more millions of people, who could turn around and file a lawsuit,” Relford says.

Despite his opposition to the measure, Relford says that he supports the general premise -- that all responsible gun owners should immediately report when a firearm is stolen.