INDIANAPOLIS — IMPD said its seized 53 guns in the downtown district so far this year and some of them were used in shootings across the city.
However, along with that progress come some complications.
“To date, we’ve had 59 guns stolen from vehicles downtown so that’s a net of negative six guns off the streets,” detective Corey Shaffer said.
Shaffer works with the downtown district’s violent crimes task force and says people leaving their guns in easy places for thieves has been a challenge. Some of the guns they’ve confiscated off the street have contributed to the violence across the city.
“A lot of these guns are not only illegally possessed but they have been used once or several times in shootings across the city,” Shaffer said.
The push to get illegal guns off the street comes as summer approaches and people flock downtown for restaurants, bars, and big events.
“We’re going to do everything we can to remove those couple troublemakers so everyone else has a good experience,” Shaffer said.
Tourism officials said the push on public safety downtown is also a good thing for business.
“It doesn’t matter how much marketing you spend to try to encourage people to come and enjoy their downtown,” Bob Schultz with Downtown Indy Inc. said. “If people feel unsafe, that’s a limiting factor.”
Beginning in July, Hoosiers will no longer be required to have a permit to carry a handgun. CBS4 asked the department about how that law would affect their efforts.
They declined to discuss the issue but did say it wouldn’t have applied in the confiscations they’ve made so far.
“They did some kind of illegal activity that they were arrested for and the gun was taken off the street,” Shaffer said.
IMPD said these efforts will continue. The department and tourism officials say it’s working.
“We’re going to do everything in our power to keep downtown safe, to keep it a place where people come from all over the world to experience the things that we offer,” Shaffer said.
Police are also encouraging gun owners to secure their guns in a locked trunk if they feel the need to bring them out.