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Elkhart Common Council passes resolution banning weapons from city hall

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The Elkhart Common Council passed a resolution Monday night that bans weapons from any buildings containing a city courtroom — which includes city hall.

The resolution originally just banned firearms but was amended to be broader by describing and defining weapons.

The ordinance does not include funding for metal detectors or security measures. Council president Arvis Dawson said it’ll be an “administrative decision” for how the weapon ban is enforced.

Several council members criticized the need for the resolution, saying it lacks details on the cost for implementing and enforcing it. But other council members said the ordinance was needed for safety purposes.

Dawson said that in his view, safety “has no costs” and the first step is passing legislation to establish the weapon ban.

The resolution ultimately passed 5 to 4. Violators will be fined $500 the first time, $1,000 the second time and $2,500 the third and every subsequent time.

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Jakob Lazzaro comes to Indiana from Chicago, where he graduated from Northwestern University in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and a double major in History. Before joining WVPE, he wrote NPR's Source of the Week e-mail newsletter, and previously worked for CalMatters, Pittsburgh's 90.5 WESA and North by Northwestern.