LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As Louisville looks for legislative action to curb the city's troubling violence levels, we're taking a closer look into a neighboring state's laws.
Indiana has had a red flag law in place for years, working to keep guns out of the hands of those deemed dangerous to themselves and others.
"I think it's great red flag laws exist. It's a mental health issue," said Frank Loop, the former sheriff in Floyd County, Indiana. "What we're seeing across the country is the family is aware of mental health issues, but they had no idea that the person went out and bought a firearm."
In his experience leading the Sheriff's Department in Floyd County, Loop's seen a handful of cases where his officers have confiscated weapons from people deemed a threat to the public, prior to them committing a crime.
Under Indiana's red flag law, a judge can sign off on the seizure and hold of a gun as long as law enforcement can provide written evidence that the individual has an inclination for violence or "suicidal conduct" -- based on their behavior.
Loop said there are clear benefits, but the proof can be complicated to obtain.
"Sometimes family members give us the information we can act on, but a lot of times they [can't get] all of the information while [still] protecting that person's rights," he said.
Many have called for Kentucky lawmakers to consider passing a similar law.
Kentucky state Rep. Jason Nemes (R-Middletown) told WHAS11 on Monday that it's not out of the question, as long as it has the right protections.
"If [the accused person] has the opportunity to defend himself before his constitutional rights are taken away, [then] I think that's something we can have a serious conversation about. And we are having that conversation," he said.
When asked if Kentucky could benefit from a law similar to the one Indiana has implemented, Loop responded, "Definitely."
"I would like to see a national red flag law. I'd also like to see the background checks include mental health," Loop said.
In Indiana, if a judge signs off on the warrant, police can hold onto the weapon as the case is looked into. If the courts eventually agree with the prosecutor's argument, the gun owner's name would be submitted to the FBI's background check database to prevent them from buying a gun in the future.