Regionally Speaking: Lake County Prosecutor Bernard A. Carter discusses raises gun safety awareness
Indiana has no law that imposes a penalty on someone who fails to secure an unattended firearm and leaves it accessible to an unsupervised minor. However, Indiana does provide that a child’s parent or legal guardian commits the crime of “dangerous control of a child” if he or she knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly permits the child (defined as a person under age 18;1) to possess a firearm, either:
While aware of a substantial risk that the child will use the firearm to commit a felony; and
While failing to make reasonable efforts to prevent the use of a firearm by the child to commit a felony; or
When the child has been convicted of a crime of violence or has been adjudicated as a juvenile for an offense that would constitute a crime of violence if the child were an adult;2
In addition, an adult who knowingly or intentionally provides a firearm to a child for any purpose other than those specified3 commits “dangerous control of a firearm,” a Class C felony.4
Support for a gun education and safety lock program has the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office looking for help from the county council in accepting donations to launch the effort. A recent Post- Tribune article notes Bernie Johnsen, supervising deputy prosecutor says, “Bernie Johnsen, supervising deputy prosecutor, said since Indiana changed its gun laws in 2023 enabling easy access to firearms for almost anybody, there has been a substantial number of accidental shootings of children”. Regionally Speaking host Dee Dotson is joined by Lake County Prosecutor Bernard A. Carter who will share that for the first time his office will establish a gun safety program. The program will involve classroom and range training and has the support of several local businesses.