Saturday, January 9, 2010
Mayor Ballard Contradicts Attorney General Zoeller on 2nd Amendment, Targets Legal Gunowners With City's Gun Return Policy
Controversy swirled this week over Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard's appointment of Frank Straub as Public Safety Director. Gun rights activists, a critically important part of the Republican coalition, has tagged Straub as being opposed to gun rights citing several statements he has made in the past. Ballard and certain Republican council members like Ben Hunter and Ryan Vaughn have rushed to Straub's defense claiming he is only against people who "illegally" possess firearms. Local gun rights activists are not falling for the disingenuous, begging the question game Ballard, Hunter and Vaughn are using to defend the appointee. They know better. After all, the entire question is what gun laws and policies should be in place - in other words when should gun possession be "illegal?"
The Ballard administration has taken the position that the City of Indianapolis does not have to comply with the Second Amendment in its enactment and enforcement of gun laws and/or policies. The case Scott v. City of Indianapolis, et al. is one of only the latest times in which the City has taken this position that the Second Amendment does not apply to states and their political subdivisions, like the City of Indianapolis.
The media has completely missed the fact that the the Ballard administration's position regarding the Second Amendment directly contradicts the position taken by Indiana's Attorney General Greg Zoeller. In an amicus brief signed by several state attorneys general, the Indiana Attorney General has argued that the Second Amendment does apply to states and cities, like Indianapolis.
As previously reported by the Indianapolis Star, the City of Indianapolis has one of the most restrictive gun return policies in the Midwest. If you legally possess a gun in your own home and the police mistakenly break in and seize those guns, which was what happened to Scott, IMPD's gun return policy says you won't get those guns back until you are fingerprinted (which is not a requirement under federal or state law to legally possess the guns in your own home.) The guns will probably also undergo ballistics testing before they are returned to the homeowner who, again, did absolutely nothing wrong when his firearms were seized. Contrary to the claims of Mayor Ballard that he is only against "illegal" gun ownership, this is a city policy that does target LEGAL gunowners, a policy that the Mayor has steadfastly defended as legal and appropriate.
Earlier, Mayor Ballard expressed praise for New York City-style gun registration and suggested it might be a good policy to adopt here in Indianapolis.
If people wonder why there is such concern about Straub's appointment you only have to look at the open and consistent hostility Mayor Ballard has displayed to the rights of gunowners since he has taken office.