June 13, 2018

Resolution Calling For Assault Weapons Ban Fails In Committee

Members of the Community Affairs Committee heard testimony from supporters and opponents of a resolution urging state lawmakers to considering a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Members of the Community Affairs Committee heard testimony from supporters and opponents of a resolution urging state lawmakers to considering a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

 A resolution urging state lawmakers to consider a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines will not be considered at the next Indianapolis City-County Council meeting.

The proposal failed to make it out of the Community Affairs Committee Wednesday evening with three Republicans voting against and two Democrats voting in favor. Two other committee members, both Democrats, were not at the meeting.  

Democratic councilor William Oliver, who introduced the resolution in April, says it started with the increase in mass shootings nationwide.

“It’s just a young adult -- in some cases adults -- just decide to walk into a restaurant or a school building and just decide to start mowing people down," Oliver said.

The NRA spoke out against the resolution, urging supporters of the Second Amendment to contact the committee members and oppose the proposal stating that the resolution seeks to "drum up" unnecessary fear of owning a firearm.

Veteran Mike Comfort was one of about 15 people who attended the meeting. He told the council that guns were not the problem.

“The issue is not the weapon, the issue is the people behind the weapon. Otherwise people can find some way to hurt each other," Comfort said.

State law prohibits local governments from instituting their own gun ordinances, so any changes to firearm regulations would need to be done by state lawmakers.

Committee chair Frank Mascari, a Democrat, said addressing the topic has started the conversation.

“We want the people in the Statehouse to understand that we’re talking about this and we want them to talk about this," Mascari said. "How many more kids are going to die between now and January when the session starts? That’s the real question."

Despite the proposal failing to pass, Mascari and Oliver said they are optimistic that the full council might still revisit the issue.

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