Indiana Pink Flag Act Applies To Gun Elimination However Does Not Forestall A Particular person From Shopping for A Gun – WISH-TV | Indianapolis Information | Indiana climate
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – There are still many questions surrounding the FedEx mass shooting that killed eight people. Many wonder how the shooter could legally purchase the rifles used in the fatal shots after police confirmed they had had contact with the shooter in the past and stole a gun from him.
“With Indiana’s law, it’s basically a gun removal law. It is said that the police have the right to take someone’s gun. It doesn’t automatically prevent them from buying other weapons later. And that’s one of the big loopholes in Indiana’s law, ”said Paul Helmke.
Helmke is a professor at the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. Helmke used to work for the Brady Center to prevent gun violence. He credits Indiana for early implementation of the red flag laws, but firmly believes they don’t go far enough.
“We have a law that says the police can come in and take away any guns you have. But until there’s a court order stating he’s dangerous, he can go out and buy guns. And if this court ruling that it is dangerous is not sent to the background check system, nobody will know that it is dangerous and they will be allowed to sell him the weapons, ”said Helmke.
In the case of 19-year-old Brandon Scott Hole, the FBI said in a statement that Hole’s mother contacted the police in March 2020 fearing he would attempt “police suicide”. This occurs when a person intends to provoke a fatal reaction from a public security officer.
The FBI’s statement said the teen was temporarily detained by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. The police found a shotgun in his home and removed it. He was then interviewed by the FBI in April 2020, and the FBI said no racially motivated ideology of violent extremism or criminal violation had been found in his home. The shotgun that was confiscated from his home was never returned.
Under Indiana red flag laws, authorities have two weeks after a person’s guns are seized to argue in court that the person shouldn’t have a gun. However, officials did not say whether a judge made a decision in the Hole case in March 2020.
“If there had been a hearing, the judge at that hearing could have ordered that this shooter be made a banned buyer in principle, which would have meant that he could not legally have bought any more weapons. But we don’t know if there was a trial. If there was a trial we don’t know if there was a determination that he should be a Prohibited Buyer or if there was a trial and a determination that he should be a Prohibited Buyer, we don’t know if it was Case is The recording was ever sent to the background checking system, ”said Helmke.
Helmke said the federal government cannot force states to send the banned buyer records to the national instant background check system, and it often fails to do so. In addition, court orders often expire after a year.
“Unless your name is listed as a felon or dangerously mentally ill in the background check system, you can buy any weapon and as many weapons as you want. Something is wrong with this system, ”said Helmke.
Helmke also notes that the Indiana Red Flag Act leaves the burden to the state of proving that a person is still at risk 180 days after their firearms have been removed. Often the default is for people to simply get their guns back. In that case, Helmke said if every step had been taken under Indiana law, the shooter would likely have been able to legally have obtained a gun at the time of that mass shooting.
Hole was a former FedEx employee. He last worked for the company in 2020. Both the IMPD and the FBI have made it clear that the subject of the FedEx mass shootings is still under investigation.