Lawmaker: Indiana ‘blew it’ by not ensuring man had no guns prior to Calif. gay pride arrest

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Chicago Tribune on June 21, 2016 by Associated Press

Indiana “blew it” by not enforcing a gun ban against a man who was armed when he was arrested in California while traveling to a gay pride event, a state Democratic lawmaker said Tuesday while advocating for stricter gun controls.

James Wesley Howell, 20, was ordered in April to forfeit all firearms under the terms of his yearlong probation on a misdemeanor intimidation conviction, for allegedly pulling a gun and making threats against a neighbor in southern Indiana.

It’s unclear whether Howell obtained the three assault rifles found on him in Los Angeles on June 12 after the judge’s order or whether he had them before it was issued, state Rep. Ed DeLaney of Indianapolis said during a news conference outside of the Statehouse.

“Every step of the way we blew it,” said DeLaney, who is up for re-election in November and said he’ll propose legislation for the GOP-dominated General Assembly to consider next session. “… I can’t get down into saying what an individual judge or probation officer did wrong. But the system failed top to bottom.”