INDIANAPOLIS - Indianapolis leaders said Saturday they want action now to keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals and tougher sentences for those who have them.
Mayor Greg Ballard said much of the recent violence in the city, including the killing of Officer Perry Renn, is caused by people who think nothing of carrying a weapon to commit a crime.
Ballard said that if violent offenders were put behind bars for a longer period of time, the city's murder rate would drop.
Ballard and Marion County Public Safety Director Troy Riggs testified more than once at the Indiana Statehouse earlier this year in support of harsher sentencing for certain violent criminals.
"Frankly, I'm just not going to accept the fact that we're going to allow the police to re-arrest these people over and over again," Ballard said. "They wonder why the rate is the way it is when it's pretty obvious to the rest of us."
Ballard and Riggs urged legislators to pass a bill that would allow courts to add five years to sentences for anyone who uses a gun to commit a felony.
That measure was unsuccessful, but both said they will push for it again prior to the next legislative session.
Riggs said suspects in 90 percent of Indianapolis' homicides have a criminal record and that 40 percent of those involve gun charges.
Rick Snyder, vice-president of the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police, said the issue must be addressed.
"(Gun violence) has been a long-term problem. We've been talking about it for a long time. It didn't just pop up. The question now is: What are we going to do about it?" Snyder said. "Indy can't wait. It's time for us to be bold. It's time for us to take assertive action."
Man in his 80s found shot to death on east side
A man in his 80s was found shot to death Saturday morning on Indianapolis' east side.
Ind. mom struggles to watch daughter become son
A Hendricks County mother is facing her own demons to defeat her prejudices and strengthen her love after her daughter dropped a bombshell…
Grand Prix, Little 500 postponed to Sunday
The Indiana University men's Little 500 and Purdue University's Grand Prix have both been postponed until Sunday due to weather.
Body of missing IU student found in Brown County
A man was arrested after the body of a missing Indiana University student was discovered in a rural area of Brown County on Friday.
CALL 6: Buyers learn hard way about cars' past
Spotting a repaired wreck on a car lot may be more difficult than you think, and it's a mistake some consumers are making and not…