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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

There oughta be a law, not

No need to repeal a city ordinance when the state's new law amounts to a de facto repeal:

HAMMOND, Indiana — The losing attorney in a case over Hammond gun-control ordinances vowed to take the matter to the Indiana Supreme Court after a state appeals court upheld a ruling that two area residents weren't adversely impacted by the restrictions because they're moot under Indiana law.

The Indiana Court of Appeals on Friday ruled that regardless of whether the ordinances are still on the books, they are voided by a 2011 state law that essentially bars local governments from regulating firearms except in courtrooms.

The attorney for two people who had sued over the ordinances, Guy Relford of Carmel, told The Times of Munster for a story Sunday (http://bit.ly/XSzfO8 ) that the city should repeal them to avoid confusion.

OK, since state law always trumps local law and the city therefore isn't trying to enforce the ordinance, the two plaintiffs really can't demonstrate they've been harmed, so a lawusit is pointless. I get that. But the attorney claims the city is keeping the law on the books because it will influence behavior -- i.e., some people will be intimidated by the mere presence of the ordinance and not even understand that it's not enforceable. That sounds about right to me, and the Indiana Supreme Court should tell the city to clean up its books. Wonder how many state-superseded laws Fort Wayne has on its books.