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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

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

This Oct. 12th ILB post reported the effort in Fort Wayne to "remove language in the city code prohibiting residents from carrying firearms in city parks" and noted that "This story may sound familiar to many ILB readers who recall similar issues involving Hammond and Evansville," going on to discuss a similar situation in Hammond that resulted in a 3/15/13 COA opinion, Dykstra v. The City of Hammond.

Today Dave Gong reports in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:

In a 6-3 preliminary vote Tuesday, the Fort Wayne City Council approved changes to a city ordinance banning firearms from city parks.

The proposal brought forward by Councilman Jason Arp, R-4th, will remove firearms from a list of items including paint ball guns, BB guns and fireworks that are prohibited from city parks. Arp and supporters of the change say the update is necessary to bring the ordinance into line with state law and possibly avoiding future costs in legal fees.

“The reason why is it is a violation to Indiana Code 35-47-11.1, which prohibits local units from the regulation of firearms,” Arp told the council. * * *

[However] Changing the law won’t have an actual impact on city policy, since changes to state law in 2011 regarding the carrying of firearms in public spaces supersede local ordinances, city attorney Carol Helton said.

“Because our ordinance predates the adoption of the state law, … it is not a violation of the state law for that ordinance to remain as written,” Helton said, citing the 2013 case Dykstra v. City of Hammond.

Dykstra states, “regardless of whether the Ordinances were still in the Hammond Municipal Code, they became void upon the effective date of Indiana Code chapter 35-47-11.1. An individual cannot be adversely affected by a void ordinance, because by its very nature, a void ordinance is “[o]f no legal effect; null.”

Therefore, taking the word “firearm” out of the city ordinance would have no legal impact whatsoever, Helton said.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 19, 2016 10:36 AM
Posted to Indiana Government