Ah, City Parks: the Trees, the Grass…the Guns?

October 11, 2016

By Keffer Hirschauer LLP

Interestingly, in Indiana, a town, city, or county in Indiana cannot ban guns from its parks. In 2011, the Indiana General Assembly enacted Indiana Code 35-47-11.1-2, states that a municipality may not regulate: (1) firearms, ammunition, and firearm accessories; (2) the ownership, possession, carrying, transportation, registration, transfer, and storage of firearms, ammunition, and firearm accessories; and (3) commerce in and taxation of firearms, firearm ammunition, and firearm accessories. See Dykstra v. City of Hammond, 985 N.E.2d 1105, 1106 (Ind. Ct. App. 2013). If a person that has been adversely affected by an ordinance, measure, enactment, rule, or policy that violates this law, the person may file an action in court against the town, city, or county and obtain an injunction or actual and consequential damages related to the violation. I.C. 35-47-11.1-5.

According to the sponsoring councilor, the law was the reason why the Fort Wayne City Council recently decided to change its ordinance banning firearms from its local parks. http://www.journalgazette.net/news/local/1st-step-cleared-for-guns-in-parks-15845928 (last visited October 22, 2016). Whether the local ordinance had any legal effect in the first place is open for discussion in light of the statute that nullified the ordinance prior to the enactment. However, the change in the ordinance no doubt clarifies that firearms are generally exempt from regulation by towns, cities, and counties in Indiana; and eliminates any discussion about whether an individual is adversely affected by the language of the ordinance and a possible violation of a state statute.

Contact us today if you have questions or believe your constitutional, criminal, or civil rights have been violated. We stand ready to provide our clients with trusted representation and accurate information regarding the law and its application to their individualized case. Act now and contact us today at (317) 857-0160.