HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) - 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
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
The attorney for two people who had sued over the ordinances, Guy Relford of
Carmel, told The Times of Munster for a story Sunday that the city should
repeal them to avoid confusion.
“We feel like the city of Hammond, and Mayor (Thomas) McDermott (Jr.)
specifically, intentionally want to leave the ordinances on the books, so
they influence people’s behavior,” Relford said.
Relford represents Samuel Dykstra, who lives in Highland and attends college
in Hammond, and Michelle Bahus, of Hammond. The two alleged their rights
were violated because the gun regulations are still in the city code.
The ordinances had restricted guns from city buildings or at any city board
or commission meeting.
The appeals court stated the city had not adopted or enforced an ordinance
in violation of the state law since it took effect in July 2011. The law was
meant to curb future gun restrictions or enforcement of ordinances in place
prior to the state law taking effect, the ruling states.
The appeals court ruling upheld the decision of Lake Superior Court Judge
Jeffery Dywan to reject the lawsuit.
McDermott in 2011 issued an executive order directing the Hammond Police
Department and city employees not to enforce an ordinance that banned guns
in city buildings. The order came after the Hammond City Council voted down
an ordinance to bring city code into compliance with the new state law. At
the time, the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns had recommended local
governments repeal gun regulations on their books.
McDermott said the appeals court ruling reaffirms his actions and those of
the City Council.
“I’m proud of the way we reacted,” McDermott said. “Basically the (National
Rifle Association) through Guy Relford is trying to bully the city of
Hammond, and I won’t stand for it. Make no mistake about it. The NRA is
lock, stock and barrel behind this lawsuit."