Frustrated southern Indiana sheriff calls upon Congress to chang - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Frustrated southern Indiana sheriff calls upon Congress to change federal gun law

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NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- The no-gun policy at some federal buildings in Floyd County frustrates Sheriff Frank Loop. 

"Terrible," said Loop. "I'm the sitting sheriff. I'm a police officer 30 years. I'm a graduate of 2 academies." 

But all those credentials couldn't get his gun past the guard during a recent trip to the Social Security Office in New Albany.

"I said, 'It's part of my uniform. We carry guns all the time,'" Loop recalled. "He said, 'We're not going to wait on you. It's federal rules. Nobody can bring a firearm in here.'"

Similar stories come from other officers at the VA health center in town.

"There are some people who will target us," he said. "For us to leave our weapon behind is just crazy."

Loop was so fed up he called Congress. 

"Now this same federal facility, in the event of an emergency, would call up him to respond with his weapon in tow, but wouldn't allow him in a non-emergency situation to conduct his business as an armed police officer," Indiana 9th District Rep. Trey Hollingsworth said.

Hollingsworth just sponsored HR 2561, also known as the P.O.L.I.C.E. Act. It stands for Protecting Officers of the Law in Civilian Establishments. 

"It is agency by agency, something that we are clearing up with the P.O.L.I.C.E. Act and ensuring our trusted police officers can in fact carry their duty weapons and don't have to go through a parking lot unarmed and risk being a target," Hollingsworth said.

Though guns spark a national debate.

"I'm not sure they'd ever need it there, but I do think they should be allowed to have it on them," said Effie Allen, a southern Indiana voter. "That's their right."

And the last time firearm legislation came through Congress, it triggered a sit-in on the House floor.

"Standing by our police officers is hugely Important ,and so i think we will get support on both sides of the aisle," Hollingsworth said.

Loop said that call was not about politics, but rather public safety.

"We're police officers 24 hours a day, and the citizens expect us to react whether we are off duty or on duty," Loop said.

The P.O.L.I.C.E. Act is currently sitting in house Judiciary Committee. 

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