Attorney General Curtis Hill is sending out a public safety advisory today to increase awareness of Indiana’s “Red Flag Law,” a statute enacted in 2005 allowing law enforcement officers to take possession of firearms from people they believe to be dangerous as defined in the statute. Indiana is one of five states in the nation to have such laws.
“Like all Americans, I was sickened by the horrifying news last week out of Parkland, Florida,” Attorney General Hill said. “Tragedies like this one are staining our nation. As we lift up our voices in prayer for the victims and their families, we must renew our commitment to taking concrete actions to stop gun violence in our country.”
The public safety advisory is being sent to prosecutors and law enforcement officials statewide. The General Assembly enacted Indiana’s law in 2005 following the 2004 slaying of Indianapolis Police Officer Jake Laird. The shooter was a mentally ill man who had been admitted earlier that year to St. Francis Hospital for an emergency detention and had his guns confiscated by police at that time. After the man’s release from the hospital, he wanted his guns back, and at that time, police had no way to legally retain them. In August of 2004, the man shot and killed his mother before randomly opening fire in a neighborhood. When police responded to the scene, the man shot and wounded five officers, including Officer Laird, before being fatally shot by police.
Under Indiana’s law, a person is considered “dangerous” if the person presents an imminent risk of physical injury to himself or others. A person can also be considered dangerous if the person presents a potential risk of physical injury and has either been diagnosed with a mental illness and failed to take prescribed medication, or if there is documented evidence that the person has “a propensity for violent or emotionally unstable conduct.”
“Indiana’s ‘Red Flag Law’ is a common-sense measure that in no way inhibits the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens,” Attorney General Hill said. “This useful provision is not as well-known, even among law enforcement, as one might expect. That’s why this week we are distributing a public safety advisory raising awareness of the law and urging police and prosecutors to make full use of it as we work together to protect all Hoosiers.”
SOURCE: News release from the Office of Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill