Indianapolis neighborhood wants to go "gun-free" on the weekends

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

The push by anti-gunners to undo Indiana’s firearm preemption law is heating up in the state’s largest city. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and the Indianapolis city council have already taken aim at the state’s preemption law with a series of ordinances banning “assault weapons”, requiring concealed carry licenses inside the city limits, and raising the age to purchase a firearm in the city from 18 to 21; none of which can be enforced without the state legislature repealing the preemption law that gives that body the sole power to regulate gun laws across the state.


Now the head of a Indianapolis neighborhood association are calling for the community to be a “gun-free zone”, at least on the weekends, after a shooting in the Broad Ripple neighborhood early Sunday morning left three people dead and another seriously injured.

Broad Ripple Village Association leadership is requesting a gun-free zone for Friday and Saturday nights through Aug. 31.

Board member Kip Tew announced the request Sunday at a news conference after a deadly shooting hours earlier while hundreds of people were in the entertainment district.

… As Mayor Joe Hogsett expressed frustration with state legislation that has prevented Indianapolis from banning guns in entertainment districts, police shared an early look of how gun-free zone enforcement would work and reiterated extra protection measures they’ve implemented so far.

… Broad Ripple has seen an increased police presence so far because of complaints from businesses and the Broad Ripple Village Association, Hogsett said. Other measures include officers working overtime, being employed by certain establishments, nuisance abatement and working with private parking lot owners, police said.

Police also are working with troubled establishments, Adams said. He declined to identify the businesses, citing ongoing efforts to reach agreements, and noted that some around the city have improved. Hogsett said business owners who are acting irresponsibly will be held to account.

The mayor said he respected the Second Amendment but decried what he called the state’s “weak gun laws,” and specifically permitless carry.

“If I had the ability to keep guns off of Broad Ripple Avenue on Friday and Saturday nights, I would do it right now,” Hogsett said. “But our state legislature has seen fit to ensure that I do not have the authority to do that.”


Oh, it’s not about you Joe… at least not specifically. Indiana’s firearm preemption law has been in place a lot longer than Hogsett has been mayor of Indianapolis, but he’s right that lawmakers have seen fit to ensure that local officials cannot impose a patchwork quilt of local gun control ordinances that vary from city to city, and for good reason. As Hogsett has already demonstrated, if given the opportunity he’d tread all over the rights of lawful gun owners in the name of cracking down on crime. In fact, he and other city officials are trying to do an end run around the state’s preemption law in order to impose that “gun-free zone” in Broad Ripple.

The city can’t unilaterally say that Broad Ripple is gun free, said Matt Giffin, corporation counsel for the city of Indianapolis.

“There’s a carve-out in state law that says when private organizations are hosting or promoting events on public property … that they can make and enforce their own rules,” Giffin said.

Hogsett announced the city’s intention to help enforce gun-free zone requests in late May, and he said the city has encouraged civic, neighborhood and private organizations that host crowded events to do so.

Groups like the Broad Ripple Village Association hoping to host an event at a public place could request a gun-free zone via the city’s permitting process. The city would then help with enforcement, which includes containing the area and using advanced screening technology.

The exact details of the Broad Ripple enforcement, which would begin next weekend if the permit is approved, are yet to be announced, Bailey said


We’ll need to see those details before we know just how feasible/legal this would be. It’s hard to imagine a permitted event that would stretch across the entirety of the Broad Ripple neighborhood and would last from, say, 5 p.m. on Friday night through midnight on Sunday. The city may be able to get away with banning guns from a specific event while its taking place, but a broad “gun-free zone” that encompasses several city blocks and lasts for several days is likely to face a court challenge as well as being nearly impossible to enforce.

Instead of making it impossible for legal gun owners to protect themselves, Hogsett should be laser-focused on the current shortfall in the Indianapolis police department, which is down about 300 officers compared to its budgeted staffing levels. Of course, one of the reasons why so many officers are leaving are the far-left politics and soft-on-crime attitudes at City Hall, and I highly doubt that’s gonna change anytime soon. Hogsett would rather pick a fight with the state legislature over preemption than address the reasons why hundreds of officers have retired or moved on to other departments, and he only has himself to blame for the results.



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