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Gun Possession Charges in Indiana
Indiana has some of the least restrictive firearm laws in the country. However, that does not mean your ability to buy, possess, or carry a handgun, rifle, or shotgun is unlimited. There are numerous regulations you need to adhere to as a gun owner to avoid criminal charges. If you transport a handgun in a vehicle incorrectly or accidentally take your gun with you onto public property without a license, you could find yourself facing misdemeanor charges. For more serious incidents, such as having your handgun too close to a school, you could be charged with a felony.
Your response to gun possession charges should be to immediately seek legal advice. An experienced gun rights attorney at GDS Law Group, LLP will thoroughly review your situation and determine the best way to move forward. We firmly believe in your right to bear arms and will aggressively defend this right in court. Contact us today online or call 765-313-7092to schedule your free consultation.
Indiana Gun Ownership Rights
As an adult in Indiana, you are free to carry guns on your own private property or another person’s private property, so long as you have the owner’s permission (IC §35-47-2-1). You can also carry one or more firearms for hunting or target shooting, though you must transport them properly. If you wish to carry a firearm in public, either openly or concealed, then you need to be an authorized professional or obtain a permit.
If you are a minor, then you may possess a firearm on your parent’s private property with their permission. You can also possess a gun while target shooting or hunting. In almost all other situations, having a firearm as a minor is prohibited.
Properly transporting firearms is essential to avoid unnecessary charges. You can carry a handgun in a vehicle when it is unloaded, not readily accessible, and in a secure case. The exception to this transportation rule is if you have a license to carry the weapon, in which case it may be loaded and accessible in your vehicle.
Any violation of the law regarding when and where you can possess a firearm will result in a Class A misdemeanor charge, punishable by up to one year in jail and fines reaching $5,000. However, if you face gun possession charges a second time, have a felony conviction on your record, or possess a firearm on school property, you will be charged with a Level 5 felony, which can be penalized with between one and six years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
Indiana Firearm Offenses
At GDS Law Group, LLP, our gun rights lawyers have handled all types of firearm-related charges, including:
Brandishing a Weapon (IC §35-47-4-3)
It is illegal for you to knowingly or intentionally point a firearm at another person. This does not apply to you if you are a police officer or you are justified in using reasonable force against someone, such as if someone broke into your home at night. A brandishing a weapon charge is a Level 6 felony, punishable by between six months and two and a half years of incarceration and fines up to $10,000. However, if your firearm was not loaded at the time, you may only face a Class A misdemeanor.
Possessing a Gun on School Grounds (IC §35-47-9-2)
Unless you are specifically entitled to, you can be charged with Class 6 felony for knowingly or intentionally possessing a firearm in school, on school property, or on a school bus.
Obliterating Identification Marks (IC §35-47-2-18)
You are prohibited from changing, altering, removing, or obliterating the name of the maker, model, serial number of other identifying mark on a handgun and from possessing a handgun with such an alteration. If you knowingly or intentionally alter a gun’s identifying mark or carrying a gun that has been scrubbed clean, then you will be charged with a Level 5 felony.
Giving False Information (IC §35-47-2-17)
When you purchase a gun or apply for a license, you must provide complete and accurate information to the seller. If you give false information on any form necessary to buy or secure delivery of a firearm or applying for a license to carry a handgun, or if you provide any false evidence regarding your identity, then you will be charged with a Level 5 felony.
Possessing a Prohibited Weapon
Various Indiana statutes make certain weapons illegal to own or possess, such as sawed off shotguns, machine guns, armor-piercing handgun ammunition, switchblades, knives with detachable blades, chemical and biological weapons, and nuclear weapons. The level of the charge for possessing a prohibited weapon depends on the type of weapon. Unlawfully possessing certain knives may lead to misdemeanor charges. However, possessing an unloaded or loaded machine gun is a Level 5 or Level 4 felony, respectively. A Level 4 felony can be punished with between two and 12 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
When you face any type of weapon charges, your first call should be to our experienced legal team at GDS Law Group, LLP. We will use our knowledge and years of experience to protect your rights and fight for a not guilty verdict.
You Need a License to Carry in Indiana
In Indiana, you can apply for a License to Carry a Handgun. This license does not apply to rifles or shotguns since a license is unnecessary for carrying those. Once you have a license, you can carry your handgun openly or concealed. In essence, the License to Carry is analogous to a concealed carry permit, which other states use (though your Indiana license does not enable you to carry a weapon openly or concealed in other states).
To obtain your license, you need to apply with the Indiana State Police. You should complete the license application online. Then, you have 90 days to have your finger prints taken and visit your local police agency with your fee payment and handgun license application number. If your application is approved, you will receive your license in the mail. If your application is rejected, you will receive a notification in the mail along with instructions on how to appeal the decision.
If you have any questions regarding a License to Carry, concealed carry permits, or appealing a license denial, contact a gun law attorney at GDS Law Group, LLP today. We will review your Indiana gun ownership rights with you, advise you on how try and obtain a license, and help you avoid inadvertently violating the law.
Concealed Carry Without a Permit
Carrying a handgun in public, whether openly or concealed, is illegal if you do not have a License to Carry (IC §35-47-2-1). There is no difference been an illegal concealed carry or an openly displayed weapon. Both will result in a Class A misdemeanor charge unless a specific factor increases the charge to a Level 5 felony.
If you carry a handgun openly or hidden on your person without a license in Indiana and you are on school property, within 500 feet of school property, on a school bus, have been previously convicted of illegal carry, or have a felony conviction, then you must defend yourself against a felony. Our attorneys at GDS Law Group, LLP are prepared to defend you against a felony gun possession charge. We know the stakes are high, which is why we will vigorously protect your rights and defend you in court.
When You Are Prohibited From Owning Firearms
If you are convicted of domestic battery, even if it was a misdemeanor offense and not a felony, you will be banned from owning or possessing firearms. If you knowingly or intentionally possess a firearm anyway, then you can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor (IC §35-47-4-6).
Also, if you are convicted of a serious violent felony in Indiana or anywhere else (IC §35-47-4-5), then you may not own or possess a firearm. If you intentionally or knowingly possess a firearm when you are prohibited from doing so by Indiana law, then you will be charged with a Level 4 felony.
Serious violent felonies include:
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Reckless homicide by means other than a vehicle
- Battery/Aggravated battery
- Criminal confinement
- Child molestation
- Sexual battery
- Assisting a criminal
- Resisting the police
- Drug offenses
If you have been charged with illegally having a firearm because of domestic battery or felony conviction, contact GDS Law Group, LLP to discuss how to defend against a weapon possession charge.
Restoring Firearm Rights
Keep in mind, when you are convicted of any felony in Indiana, you also lose your right to own or possess any firearm under federal law. It is not merely Indiana law that applies. When it comes to restoring your gun ownership rights, you must look to both Indiana and federal law as well. Our lawyers for restoring gun rights can explain the complexities of the law.
Under Indiana law, if you were convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, you can petition the state court to restore your firearm rights. You must wait at least five years from the date of your conviction to file this petition. The court will then look at a variety of factors, including how you behaved since the conviction and whether you present a current threat the victim of domestic abuse, before deciding whether to grant your petition or not. If your petition is granted, your firearm rights are restored in Indiana and under federal law.
You may have the option to have a low-level felony conviction converted to a misdemeanor after a certain period of time, during which you are not convicted of any other crime. You will need to speak with an attorney about petitioning the court to convert your previous felony conviction. If the conviction is changed to a misdemeanor, you may have both your Indiana and federal gun rights restored.
A gun rights lawyer can also review your eligibility for expungement. In certain cases, expungement of a felony crime, if successful, specifically renews your eligibility to possess a handgun under Indiana law and possess firearms under federal law.
Let Our Gun Rights Attorneys Help You
When you are facing any type of firearms-related criminal charges, the best thing to do is to call us at GDS Law Group, LLP. We have years of experience handling gun possession charges in Indiana and we are ready to tackle the allegations against you. Our goal will be to obtain the best possible outcome in your case, whether that is a not guilty verdict, having the charges dropped or dismissed, or negotiating minimal consequences for a conviction.
Contact us today at 765-313-7092 or use the online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.