Council removes language prohibiting firearms from city parks

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): The Fort Wayne City Council discussed a proposal that would allow people to carry guns in city parks on Tuesday night.

The proposal was made by Republican Jason Arp, who argues that the city law prohibiting the carrying of firearms in parks is in violation of a state law.

“It’s a violation of Indiana code, which prohibits local units from regulating firearms,” Arp said, adding he was looking to prevent the city from litigation as a result.

RELATED: Proposal would allow guns in Fort Wayne parks

City Attorney Carol Helton, however, says the state law already renders the city’s ordinance null and void.

“Our ordinance, the way it is written, is not a violation of Indiana code… because by its very nature, a void ordinance is of no legal effect. It’s a void ordinance, by operation of state law,” Helton said.

Councilman Geoff Paddock, who issued a statement before the meeting saying he’d vote against allowing guns in city parks, says he’s not a fan of the state law.

“We should do everything we can to make our parks safer places, and we should not be making a statement that we want firearms in our public parks. This is an issue that we as a local government should be making ourselves. It’s a poke in the eye that the State Legislature put us in this position,” Paddock said.

The council voted 6-3 to remove the language prohibiting firearms, with Paddock, Russ Jehl, and Glynn Hines voting against it.

RELATED: Fort Wayne Councilman Paddock opposes guns in parks proposal


  1. geoff paddock is a typical liberal democrat that believes that actual criminals who regularly carry a firearm, felon or not, to intimidate and commit crimes using said weapon, will comply with a law stating they cant carry in a public park? As a properly trained, legal, lifetime CCW holder, wheather a new local regulation is passed or not, I will never put my family or myself at risk by not carrying.

  2. Null and void according to a Judge. But will those who got citations, still go through the cost of Legal Council just to clear themselves? Thank You to those who voted to remove the null and void wording.

  3. The City Council made the right decision. Gun owners should not have to question if they are breaking the law during their daily travels and routines. The right to keep and BEAR arms is the right to carry them from place to place.


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