Hammond council gun plan misfires

2011-08-14T00:00:00Z 2013-01-21T23:02:05Z Hammond council gun plan misfiresBy Pete Nickeas pete.nickeas@nwi.com, (219) 933-4183 nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | The City Council has rejected a measure that would allow elected officials -- and only elected officials -- to carry guns inside Hammond City Hall.

The city has a gun and deadly weapon ban on its books that applies to all city buildings, but the Legislature passed a law allowing concealed carry in government buildings that don't have a courthouse.

Hammond's lone courthouse is in City Hall, so the city has to amend its law to allow for guns everywhere else.

Councilman Kim Poland, R-4th, introduced the ordinance in July to comply with the change in state law. Last week, she sought to exempt Hammond's elected officials from the law, allowing them to conceal guns in City Hall.

Elected officials from Munster or Dyer, for example, would not be allowed to bring their guns to City Hall. Hammond City Council members, the mayor, the clerk and the judge would all be allowed to carry guns.

The measure needed five votes to pass. It only garnered four since just seven council members were voting. Councilman Al Salinas, D-2nd, was absent and there's one at-large vacancy.

"I'm fine either way. I feel secure. It's not for me personally," Poland said.

If Salinas supports the measure and Poland can keep the other three votes, she said she'd try to pass it during the council's next meeting.

Otherwise, the ordinance - without Poland's amendment - will be passed to comply with state law, she said.

 

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