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Marion County prosecutor blames Indy gun violence on permitless carry law

Incumbent Prosecutor Ryan Mears blamed some of the violence on Indiana’s new permitless carry law, while his GOP challenger blamed the current prosecutor’s policies.

INDIANAPOLIS — Candidates for Marion County prosecutor spoke out against a weekend of gun violence in Indianapolis. 

Incumbent Ryan Mears, a Democrat, blamed some of the violence on Indiana’s new permitless carry law, while his Republican challenger blamed the current prosecutor’s policies.

The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office sent out the following statement:

“Many simple disputes ended with violence over the weekend. We continue to see lasting damage caused by the inability to resolve disputes before resorting to gun violence. We cannot not tolerate this behavior and the use of firearms or weapons as a resolution to conflict. We forewarned the consequences that would come from having more guns on our streets as a result of the permitless carry legislation, and we are witnessing the ramifications of that action on a far-too-frequent basis. As a community, we must do our part to combat gun violence and address the issues that lead to it.”

13 Investigates questioned Mears for evidence to support the claim that recent violence is linked to the new law.

“Our concern is that everybody's armed,” he said. “I think that gives people unfounded confidence when they're having disagreements with individuals.”

IMPD tells 13News it does not yet have data that shows the law’s impact on violence. Indiana State Police tells us it also can’t say one way or another how constitutional carry has impacted violence.

“It hasn't been 60 days yet, so if you're looking for empirical data, it's certainly going to take more time to develop that empirical data because it hasn't been that long,” Mears said.       

Mears is running for re-election as a Democrat. 

Credit: WTHR
Cyndi Carrasco

Republican challenger Cyndi Carrasco also issued a statement following multiple shootings this weekend:

“Indianapolis made national and international news again this weekend, and once again for the wrong reason. Three Dutch soldiers with the Royal Netherlands Army, enjoying an off day from training right in the heart of downtown were shot, and one has tragically been killed. Unfortunately, acts of violence like this are daily occurrences in Marion County, and are now happening in almost every corner of the county. The increase in violence in our city is a direct result of our prosecutor's failure to hold criminals accountable, and his continued use of sweetheart plea deals that puts violent repeat offenders back on our streets. These actions broadcast to criminals that they can get away with committing crimes in Marion County. People are fed up, and enough is enough. We cannot allow this violence to be the norm. We must work together to hold criminals accountable and make Indianapolis safe.”

There were several shootings this past weekend, though IMPD’s data shows homicides and non-fatal shootings are down in 2022 compared to last year. However, the permitless carry law was not in effect for the first half of the year. Despite the law, the IMPD data shows homicides are down this July and August compared to last year.

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