Indiana’s Red Flag and Jake Laird Law

Indiana’s Red Flag and Jake Laird Law

With the recent shootings nationwide, there has been a tremendous amount of media coverage concerning “Red Flag” laws, in which judges can order the temporary removal of firearms from an individual who may be a danger to themselves or others at the request of police or family members. Many states, and the federal government, are now considering instituting new Red Flag laws in order to protect communities from potentially dangerous individuals at the first signs of trouble. But did you know that Indiana already has a “red flag” law on the books? Specifically, we have the Jake Laird Law, codified under Indiana Code § 35-47-14 et seq.

What qualifies a person as being dangerous under the Jake Laid Law?

Under that law, police may seize a firearm from an individual who is believed to be “dangerous” either with or without a warrant. A person is “dangerous” if he or she:

  1. Presents an imminent risk of personal injury to themselves or someone else
  2. Presents a future risk of personal injury to themselves, or someone else and have a mental illness controlled by medication, but consistently does not take that medication
  3. Presents a future risk of personal injury to himself or herself, or someone else and are documented to have a propensity for violent or suicidal conduct.

If law enforcement seizes a firearm without a warrant, they are required to file an affidavit with a court within 48 hours.

What can you do if your firearm is seized?

Once the firearms are seized, a court is required to hold a hearing within 14 days, or as soon as possible after those 14 days. If the court agrees that the individual is dangerous, it will issue a written order for law enforcement to keep possession of the firearms. If the court disagrees and finds that the person is not dangerous, the firearms are required to be returned in the following 5 days. Should the court order the seized firearms be kept, the individual may petition the court to return their firearms after at least 180 days have passed and they are no longer dangerous. Additionally, the individual can petition for the court to either have the firearm sold and receive the proceeds back or have the firearm transferred to a “responsible third-party” that does not live with the individual, in the event that they are no longer interested in the firearms or they continue to be deemed “dangerous” by the court.

A version of Indiana’s Red Flag law was introduced and approved in 2005, after the death of Indianapolis Police Department Officer Jake Laird on August 18, 2004. The law has continued to develop as Indiana legislators attempt to strike a balance between the rights of individuals to own and possess firearms and the safety of the community.

If you have had your firearms seized or are interested in firearms licensing, contact the Indiana firearms attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP today. We stand ready to provide our clients with trusted representation and accurate information regarding the law and its application to their individualized case. Act now and contact us today at 1-800-NOT-GUILTY or (317) 202-1163.


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