For the past 14 years, Indiana has removed guns from at least 600 Hoosiers who were deemed to be a threat to themselves and others.
Indiana’s authority falls under the Jake Laird Law, named for an Indianapolis police officer killed when a man went on a shooting rampage.
We talked with police and Senator Mike Braun about the law and whether more can or should be done to help prevent mass shootings.
“It’s a valuable tool,” Indiana State Police Sgt. Brian Walker says.
Once weapons are confiscated, a court hearing will happen within 14 days to determine whether the action was necessary and whether the guns should be returned within 180 days.
If not, they’re sold and the money is given to the person.
“It’s not big government coming in and taking people’s weapons without just cause, and we also have to answer for our actions. If they’re going to apply for a warrant to have these weapons confiscated, that has to be written down and justified in an affidavit,” Walker says.
We caught up with Indiana Republican Senator Mike Braun to ask about helping solve the issue at a federal level.
“I’m open to anything that is practical, that’s going to be easy to enforce,” Braun says.
Braun has owned a gun since he was 10 years old, but says it’s time to do something.
“I think when it comes to weapons, assault weapons, and semi-automatic weapons, background checks, whatever is going to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, we need to look at it in a different way,” he says.
While he doesn’t think the Senate will reconvene in emergency session to address the issue, Braun says lawmakers from red states need to take the lead.
“Any legislator that doesn’t view it as a serious issue, and especially from ones that come from Second Amendment states, ones that believe deeply in the right to bear and keep arms, I think it hurts that right down the road if we don’t take practical measures to control unnecessary deaths from firearms,” he says.
Sgt. Walker tells us we can never know how many shootings Indiana’s Red Flag Law may have prevented, but he’s confident it has prevented at least some.