May 31, 2023 | Indiana Law
Indiana is one of the more favorable states for gun owners. However, there are still rules and regulations that gun owners must follow. Failure to follow the rules can result in criminal charges, including jail time and fines.
If you’re facing a weapons charge or have questions about Indiana gun laws, you should speak with an attorney. It’s best to get accurate legal advice before discovering you’ve broken the law.
Gun Ownership Rights and Licensing in Indiana
Almost anyone in Indiana has the right to carry or possess a handgun, rifle, or shotgun without a permit or a license. If you are 18 years or older, you can transport the gun in your car, so long as you are not labeled an “improper person” as determined by the state.
Exception To Gun Ownership Rights
An improper person is someone who has restricted rights to carry a gun in Indiana, usually because of past behavior or mental illness.
This includes a person:
- Convicted of a federal or state offense carrying over one year of jail time
- Who is a fugitive from justice
- Who is an undocumented immigrant
- Convicted of a crime of domestic violence, stalking, or domestic battery
- Subject to a restraining order
- Under a current indictment
- Adjudicated dangerous, mentally defective, or committed to a mental hospital
- Dishonorably discharged from the military or national guard
- Under 18 or under 23 with a juvenile delinquency
- Who has a record of abusing drugs or alcohol
- Who has a propensity for violence or emotionally unstable conduct
- Who makes a false statement
In some circumstances, these individuals may still have the right to possess a gun on private property or while at the driving range. If you think you may fall into one of these categories, you should speak with a lawyer about your rights.
Criminal Gun Offenses in Indiana
Certain violations of Indiana gun laws are crimes. If you are convicted, you can face jail time and/or fines.
Brandishing a Firearm
It is illegal to brandish a firearm in Indiana. Brandishing means knowingly and intentionally pointing a gun at another person. If the gun is loaded, a conviction means a level 6 felony. If the gun is unloaded, it is a class A misdemeanor.
Possession of a Firearm By a Serious Violent Felon
It is a crime for anyone convicted of a serious violent felony in Indiana, or any other jurisdiction, to knowingly or intentionally possess a firearm. This is a level 4 felony and is punishable by 2 – 12 years in prison. Possession is prohibited even on private property.
Possessing a Gun on School Grounds
It is a level 6 felony to possess a firearm on school grounds or a school bus. The only exception is if the gun is locked in the trunk of the car, glove compartment, or out of plain sight. If someone is legally allowed to possess a gun but leaves it in plain view in the car, they are guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
Obliterating Identification Marks on a Gun
Indiana allows people to possess all different types of guns. However, it is illegal to alter the identification in certain ways.
No one is allowed to change, alter, or remove:
- The maker
- The model
- The serial number
- Or other identification markers
It is also illegal to possess a gun that had the identification marks removed previously. Violating this code section is a level 5 felony.
Possessing a Prohibited Gun
While most types of guns are legal in Indiana, there are a few prohibited guns. You cannot possess a machine gun, sawed-off shotgun, or armor-piercing handgun ammunition. If you do, you can be convicted of a level 5 felony.
Contact an Indianapolis Criminal Defense Attorney for Help Fighting a Weapons Charge
If you’ve been charged with a gun-related crime in Indianapolis, IN, seek legal assistance immediately. An attorney will fight the charges and minimize the potential consequences.
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Indianapolis
101 W Ohio St #2000
Indianapolis, In 46204