Around 2 p.m. yesterday at the Ikea located at 11400 Ikea Way in Fishers, Indianapolis, a gunshot rang out through the store. Evidence technicians and investigators were called to the scene after kids sat down on a sofa only to find a gun wedged between the cushions. While the parents shopped, one of these children picked up the weapon, firing the gun. No one inside the store was injured, reports Wish TV.
Sgt. Tom Weger of the Fishers Police Department told reporters that an unrelated Ikea customer was testing out that same sofa before the incident occurred. Apparently, the gun fell from his pants and became lodged without his knowledge. The customer then stood up and walked away, proceeding to shop throughout the store without realizing his gun was lost. Fishers police are currently investigating matters. Witness statements and evidence are being collected and forwarded to the Hamilton County prosecutor.
— WISH-TV (@WISH_TV) June 25, 2018
Two hours after the chaos, the store was cleared out, secured, and reopened for business. Since the occurrence, an Ikea spokesperson spoke out in defense of their employees while informing journalists that the company plans to cooperate with authorities, as they do take the issue very seriously.
“Safety and security for customers and co-workers is the top priority for Ikea. We have processes in place to ensure that the store is safe for customers and co-workers. For example, our store team has regular safety walks which happen before, during, and after opening hours. In addition, Ikea has a no weapon policy in our locations to prevent exactly these types of situations. As soon as we were aware of the situation, our co-workers took the action that they were trained to do to ensure the safety of our customers. We are cooperating with police as they investigate this incident.”
During his discussion with reporters, Sgt. Weger exclaimed that it’s time for parents to sit down and have the talk with their children about guns. There are crucial steps, in light of current events, that adults need to be informing and instructing kids about. One being “do not touch,” and two being “go and find an adult.”
Indiana protects the right to bear arms under Article I, Section 32 of the state constitution. The state does have an open carry law, allowing adults 18 and older to carry their guns openly so long as they possess the proper permit. Those wishing to take advantage of this open carry law are required to have the permit on their person at all times, yet are not expected to inform a law enforcement officer of the firearm if approached on official business. Yes, gun carriers in Indiana can even bring the weapon into restaurants so long as there is not a “NO GUNS” sign posted; the meal must be had without consuming alcohol if patrons are carrying a gun. However, despite stores having the legal right to post said signs declaring no firearms are allowed on site, Indian’s gun laws do not actually mention these signs, as recorded by Guns to Carry. What does that mean? Basically, even if a business or private property says they have signs up telling customers to keep firearms out of the establishment, that company or person has no force of law unless the warnings are displayed in areas which are mentioned by the law, such as hospitals, courthouses, and public schools. To put it even more simply, there is not a true enforcement of such signs because they do not carry weight of law in the state of Indiana besides giving the location authority to ask the person with the weapon to leave. Should the person then refuse, he or she is at that point guilty of trespassing charges.