West Lafayette supports strengthening federal background check system

West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis is asking state lawmakers to make it harder for violent criminals, mentally ill people and domestic abusers to get their hands on firearms.

Posted: Aug 6, 2018 11:24 PM
Updated: Aug 7, 2018 6:34 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis is asking state lawmakers to make it harder for violent criminals, mentally ill people and domestic abusers to get their hands on firearms.

He presented a resolution at Monday's City Council meeting. This is a non-binding resolution, meaning it currently has no impact on our state laws

Mayor John Dennis is passionate about strengthening the federal background check system. He said there are too many loopholes in the state constitution.

"These might allow dangerous weapons to get in the hands of people who shouldn't have a right," said Dennis. 

Indiana does not require private sellers who are not federally licensed dealers to initiate background checks before transferring a firearm.

On top of asking for stricter background checks, Mayor Dennis is also hoping lawmakers will consider strengthening state domestic violence laws.

"It would be like throwing gasoline on a fire and when you look at the statistics among people who are shot and killed in reference to domestic violence, the numbers are astronomical," said Dennis. 

Dennis calls this a common sense resolution. He believes NRA members will back it, considering 74 percent of them support background checks.

"The irony of that is these folks are always very good, very responsible very loyal gun owners and they aren't the type person that this legislation is offering up suggestions to," said Dennis. 

Several members and supporters of Moms Demand Action were at the meeting, including gun owner Joseph Seger.

"If it's going to bring peace of mind to my neighbor, that is something I can bear and then go and explain to them why gun ownership can be a good thing, why it can be ok to have certain firearms and why those can be good things for America," said Seger in support of Dennis. 

Seven of the eight council members voted in favor of the resolution, one abstained calling the resolution vague.

Dennis said though this resolution isn't specifically changing laws, he thinks it could be step in the right direction. 

"Now that I'm in a position to pass legislation that starts adding to the conversation, I'm going to do it," said Dennis. 

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