The City-County Council passed a new ordinance Monday night that requires all gun owners to report when their weapons are lost or stolen.
Specifically, they have to inform IMPD within 48 hours of the loss or theft. Failure to do so could result in a $50 fine.
That measure narrowly passed, 15-14, and faces a likely veto from Mayor Greg Ballard. Some councilors tried to stop the ordinance from even coming up for a vote.
"I don't want to get sued," said Jeff Miller, a Republican from District 19. "And trust me, the NRA has a lot of money. So I don't understand why we would do it tonight. But I really do hope we would take serious consideration so we can bring something like this back and start moving in the right direction."
The concern about being sued comes from state law that keeps local governments from regulating firearms or ammunition - and gives organizations like the NRA the right to sue local governments that try.
In the wake of the violence Indianapolis has been under, however, Democrats argued it was worth the risk and that they had to do something.
"I want somebody-- stand up, come up to that podium and tell me what are we doing about guns. Because I don't think you're gonna find anybody back there that can get on TV and say this law is not effective," challenged Joe Simpson, a Democrat from District 9. "I'm crying for help. This community and city needs help. And if we don't, then shame on this city cause my community needs it badder than anybody else's."
Republicans fired back, saying this ordinance would punish responsible gun owners because of the actions of a thief who stole their firearm, and that it's not right to force them to report lost or stolen property.
"I'm a proud gun owner and I'm a proud NRA member and you're never gonna convince me [that] law-abiding, gun owning folks need more regulations. They clearly don't," said Aaron Freeman, a Republican from District 25. "This proposal is-- ordinance is unenforceable. It violates state law and it doesn't tackle the real problem. I mean, this is a back-door attempt at registration, and that's not gonna happen."
Since the ordinance passed by such a narrow margin, Democrats do not have the votes needed to override a veto if Mayor Ballard does in fact strike it down when it hits his desk.