Indianapolis, Indiana – The City-County Council of Indianapolis, in an act of decisive legislative decision-making, passed a comprehensive gun control measure, Proposal 156, on Monday evening. The measure was endorsed by 18 members, with five dissenting votes.
Mayor Joe Hogsett, who presented this ordinance as a component of his broad public safety plan, had earlier seen the proposal receive a preliminary approval by the city’s Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee, garnering nine votes for and four against.
The essence of Proposal 156 is a set of changes intended to bolster the city’s control over firearms. It escalates the legal age for purchasing firearms to 21 years, prohibits the possession of “assault rifles” within city limits, and makes it mandatory for residents to hold a license to carry a firearm.
Mayor Hogsett, in response to the Council’s vote on Proposals 149 and 156, declared, “Tonight’s Council votes on Proposals 149 and 156 prove that Indianapolis and its leadership won’t back down from taking bold steps to protect residents and neighborhoods.” He praised the Council’s bipartisan endorsement, particularly for facilitating the city’s collaboration with U.S. Attorney Zach Myers in bringing stringent consequences upon serious offenders.
Mayor Hogsett continued, expressing his gratitude to those who endorsed the gun safety measures, including the prohibition of semi-automatic assault weapons, raising the age of gun purchase to 21, mandating handgun licenses, and ceasing the concealed carry of firearms. He asserted that their decisions were a vivid representation of the city’s stance against gun violence and illegal weapons’ proliferation.
Despite its passage, the plan faces a significant hurdle as it currently stands in conflict with state laws that prevent local governments from imposing this kind of gun regulation. The ordinance will become operative if state regulations are relaxed or if the law is altered by legislative or judicial means.
Critics, including Republican Council minority leader Brian Mowery, contest the legality of the plan, citing it as a violation of the state statute and constitution.
On the other hand, proponents, like Democrat Councilor Ali Brown, view this as a necessary public safety measure and a powerful symbolic stand against rampant gun violence.
In addition to Proposal 156, the Council also approved an arrangement for the city to engage three federal prosecutors. Their role will be to concentrate on prosecuting federal gun crimes, supplementing the mayor’s overarching public safety plan.