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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Ind. Gov't. - "Allowing guns in parks proposed" in Fort Wayne

Dave Gong reports in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:

An ordinance introduced during Tuesday’s Fort Wayne City Council meeting would remove language in the city code prohibiting residents from carrying firearms in city parks.

Introduced by Councilman Jason Arp, R-4th, the measure would amend a section of the Fort Wayne city code related to the Parks and Recreation Department to remove firearms from a list of prohibited items that includes fireworks, firearms, BB guns, slingshots, pea shooters, blow guns and paintball guns.

As currently written, the ordinance violates state law regarding the regulation of firearms, Arp said. * * *

Through his proposal, Arp contends that state law prohibits local government units from regulating firearms. Arp said he believes the change, in addition to being in compliance with state law, will be good public policy. * * *

According to Indiana Code 35-46-11.1-2, local governments may not regulate firearms, ammunition and firearm accessories, or their ownership, possession, carrying, transportation, registration, transfer or storage. But state law does allow local governments to prohibit or restrict firearm possession at hospitals and in places such as the Allen County Courthouse or Citizens Square.

ILB: This story may sound familiar to many ILB readers who recall similar issues involving Hammond and Evansville.

In the Hammond case, a 3/15/13 COA opinion in Samuel G. Dykstra and Michelle L. Bahus v. The City of Hammond, the City of Hammond was sued because it did not remove from its books "city gun restrictions now voided by state law. ... The ordinances had restricted guns from city buildings or at any city board or commission meeting." The Court of Appeals held: "We hold that the trial court did not err in denying the Firearm Owners’ motion for summary judgment and granting summary judgment in favor of the City of Hammond.." As the ILB wrote at the time:

Interestingly, however, the COA designated the opinion as "Not for Publication." This although Appellate Rule 65(A) provides that a Court of Appeals opinion shall be published if it "involves a legal or factual issue of unique interest or substantial public importance."

What is the significance of a NFP designation? Under Rule 65(D): "Unless later designated for publication, a not-for-publication memorandum decision shall not be regarded as precedent and shall not be cited to any court ..."

The Supreme Court later denied transfer in Dykstra. As this July 17, 2013 ILB post reports:
Included, unremarked, on the transfer list for the week ending July 12, 2013 (on p. 2, 3rd from the bottom) was the case of Samuel G. Dykstra and Michelle L. Bahus v. The City of Hammond (NFP - initially, but then changed to "for publication"). Transfer was denied, leaving the Court of Appeals opinion standing.
The long July 17, 2013 post then goes on to discuss the Evansville case, Magenheimer.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 12, 2016 10:05 AM
Posted to Indiana Government