Well, I suppose that it was only a matter of time before they tried something else new. Councilor Angela Mansfield (for the Combined City of Indianapolis/Marion County) has proposed a new bill which would expand the coverage area of a previous 1975 ordinance to the entirety of Marion county. Link to Indy.gov article. The proposal limits your ability to discharge firearms (including airsoft and BB guns) on your own property unless it’s in self-defense, or you’re in possession of a permit to do so granted by the County Sheriff. The reasoning behind the expansion of the proposal is that Indianapolis has grown a lot since 1975; a lot of formerly undeveloped areas are now subdivisions and communities.
I am as opposed (if not more so) to accidental firearms deaths. That’s why I’m fine with the spirit of this proposal, inasmuch as the stated goals are “for the children”. However, I dislike the fact that the government is again saying what you can and cannot do on your own land; I’m further concerned by the fact that the permits to shoot even airguns on your land are granted at the apparent whims of the County Sheriff. The text from that section of the bill is copied in the box below.
(a) A person may apply to the sheriff for written approval to shoot firearms on his/her property if
his/her property is at least 15 acres for a limited period of time not to exceed one year. The application
must contain the following:
(1) Name of the person who owns the property;
(2) Names of any other persons that the owner is permitting to shoot on his/her property;
(3) Address including boundaries of where the person proposes to shoot;
(4) Time period requested to shoot; and
(5) Purpose of the request to shoot.
Proposal No. 174, 2007
(b) The Sheriff in his sole discretion shall determine if the shooting activity on the property presents a
danger to any person, animal or property outside the boundaries of the property.
(c) The Sheriff may revoke the written approval prior to the expiration of the time permitted for
shooting if the sheriff subsequently determines that the shooting activity presents a danger to any person,
animal or property outside the boundaries of the property or is in violation of any section of this code, or of
any applicable state or federal law.
(d) The sheriff may collect a fee of $100 from the applicant.
As you can see, your ability to do as you please with your own land appears to be entirely at the whims of the Sheriff; and of course they’re going to tax you for it.
Additionally, the bill creates a provision for which the Sheriff is responsible for the safety inspection of licensed shooting ranges in the City/County area. That seems all well and good, until you read that the Sheriff is also responsible for creating and maintaining the standards that shooting ranges will be required to maintain. This means that you could get an anti-gun anti-shooting sheriff elected in Marion County, and all of a sudden your shooting ranges are GONE.
As irritating as all of this is, the proverbial cake is taken by our local media, and particularly one of our local shooting ranges/gun shops. If you’ve not read any of my earlier blogs, Don’s Guns (which gets no link from me) is a gun store/range in the Indy/Metro area that has at best, a poor reputation with the Indianapolis gun owning community. Couple this with the owner’s insatiable desire for seeing his name in the news, and you have a recipe for disaster. I blogged earlier in the year about Don’s support for an onerous gun law that they were attempting to pass in the County; if you read this article from our local news channel you’ll see why I’m once again mad at Don’s. I’ve got the highlights from the article here.
At Don’s Guns, the firearms for sale pack much more power than ever before. Demonstrating an AR-15 rifle, Company President Brenda Duety said, “This gun will shoot miles and you know what goes up must come down.”
Owner Don Davis calls Mansfield’s proposal a good move. “Indianapolis has grown and it used to be right out here at 38th street was the city limits. Under Unigov, they’re now out to the county line roads. And, all the guns I sell today are not like I sold 35 years ago. These guns go a long way. So this is a big city, it’s time we should do it, and it doesn’t effect the indoor shooting.”
Now, it’s pop quiz time. How many of my readers can see what’s wrong with both of the above statements? While I’m certain than an AR can shoot for “miles” and yes what goes up does indeed come down, however there hasn’t been an accidental rifle shooting in the County for…uh…well…um…hell, I’ve been looking and I couldn’t find one. Then of course there’s the statement by The Grand Poobah of Stupid, Don himself. Not the guns you sold 35 years ago? Are you telling me that 35 years ago we didn’t have .30-05, .308, 7.62×39, .270 Winchester, .30-30, or a whole host of other rifle cartridges that are more powerful and shoot further than a 5.56? Of course we did, but telling the truth would interfere with Don’s ability to get his fucking name in the papers again.
Thankfully, not everyone in the City/County government has lost their damn mind.
But Republican Councilor Mike Speedy has concerns. “I’m not aware of in inerrant gun problem in our city, I am aware we have a crime problem, that we’re on a record pace for homicides and that’s where our resources should go.”
Speedy says Mansfield’s proposal also restricts personal freedoms.
“This law is about taking freedoms from people who hunt, who have property,” Speedy continued.
I pray that cooler heads such as Mike Speedy’s will prevail. Meanwhile, if you’re one of my four readers and you’re also in the Indy/Metro area, write the city council, call the city council and tell them that you oppose this legislation.
Additionally, boycott Don’s Guns. I’ve had it up to here with the antics of that place. Their constant dance of giving gun owners a bad name/selling us out at the first opportunity for press has got to come to an end. I’ve never purchased a single item from them and I’m certainly not about to start.