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Indiana Gun Crimes Attorney

Let Us Help You Fight Your Gun Charges

Gun crimes are under greater scrutiny given the tension between the present clamor for gun control and the right of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families consistent under the Second Amendment and the Indiana Constitution. The increased scrutiny has led to tougher enforcement and penalties for gun crimes. For those defending Indiana gun charges or seeking to protect their Second Amendment rights, representation by an experienced Indiana gun crimes attorney is critical.

If you are facing Indiana gun charges, the Indiana criminal defense attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP have the experience and knowledge you need. Call us at (317) 857-0160 or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation.

Call an Indiana Gun Crimes Attorney to Protect Your Rights

The possession and use of firearms are regulated by a complex network of federal and state laws that vary from one state to the next. Working with an Indiana gun crimes attorney from Keffer Hirschauer LLP is key to your defense against Indiana gun charges. Focused on criminal law and with prior experience working in the prosecutor’s and public defender offices, we understand Indiana gun laws and how prosecutors across the state approach these cases. With decades of collective criminal trial experience, we help you navigate Indiana gun charges and other firearm-related matters.

Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Firearms Offenses in Indiana

Under Indiana law, a firearm is any weapon designed for or able to expel a projectile through an explosion. Anything that can readily be converted to do the same is also a firearm.

Firearms offenses in Indiana can be classified into two main categories, with only the second category requiring use of the firearm:

  • Licensing, possession, and sale violations
  • Prohibited firearm uses

Depending on the offense, you may be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony. In turn, the level of the offense determines the potential sentence if you’re convicted.

Do you need more information on firearm possession, licensure, and punishments? Download our Free Indiana Firearms eBook!

Indiana gun laws regulate the licensing, possession, and sale of firearms. Common offenses include these:

  • Carrying a handgun without a license: Under in Indiana Code § 45-37-2-1, it is illegal to carry a handgun in your car or on your person unless you have a license. Exceptions to the license requirement include:
    • Use of a handgun on one’s own property
    • Permitted use on another’s property or at a shooting range
    • Transporting an unloaded handgun in a vehicle if it is not accessible and in a case
    • Use of a handgun while hunting
  • Unlawful possession of a firearm by a domestic batterer: Under Indiana Code § 35-47-4-6, a person who has been convicted of domestic battery in Indiana may not possess or carry a firearm
  • Unlawful possession of a firearm by serious violent felon: Under Indiana Code § 35-47-4-5, a person who is a serious violent felon may not possess a firearm. Serious violent status is based on a prior conviction for major offenses. Examples include the following:
  • Possession of a firearm by a non-citizen illegally or unlawfully in the United States
  • Obliterating identification marks on handgun or possession of such handguns: Indiana Code § 35-47-2-18 prohibits destroying the serial number on a firearm or possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number
  • Delivery of a deadly weapon to an intoxicated person: Under Indiana Code § 35-47-2.5-16, it is illegal to provide a firearm to
    • An intoxicated person
    • Someone who is “in the habit of becoming intoxicated”
    • Someone you know to be ineligible to possess the weapon
    • Someone who intends to use the weapon to commit a crime
  • Illegal possession of a machine gun: Under Indiana Code § 35-47-5-8, mere ownership of a machine gun is a felony, but the offense is a higher level felony if the weapon is loaded

Indiana also criminalizes certain uses of firearms. Using a weapon to commit a criminal offense is an obvious example. The use of a firearm in the commission of a crime increases the felony level and, therefore, potential jail time. Following are examples of crimes in which the penalty level is increased when it involves the use of a firearm:

  • Murder
  • Sexual assault
  • Robbery
  • Domestic assault

Indiana law also prohibits using a firearm in these ways:

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Indiana Gun Crime Penalties

The consequences of conviction on Indiana gun charges can include incarceration, fines, and more. A conviction can even result in a lifelong ban on possessing or using a firearm. And for some, the conviction can take away your livelihood. Anyone convicted of an Indiana gun crime also suffers collateral consequences:

  • Requirement to report your felony conviction on employment applications if asked
  • Eligibility to live in subsidized housing
  • Effect on child custody or modification matters
  • Effect on immigration matters
  • Eligibility to own, possess, or carry a firearm

Whether a conviction for an Indiana gun crime is a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the offense. The sentence following conviction for a misdemeanor can include:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • Up to $5,000 in fines
  • Possible probation for up to one year for any time not spent in jail

The sentence for a felony conviction is greater, with the minimum sentence for a Level 6 felony of 6 months but an advisory sentence of one year and a fine up to $10,000. The higher the felony level, the higher the potential sentence.

Examples of sentencing ranges for some firearms offenses in Indiana include:

  • Carrying a handgun without a license is a Class A misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $5,000 fine, but the violation can be elevated to a Level 5 felony, with one to six years’ confinement and a fine of up to $10,000 in circumstances like these:
    • Carrying the firearm on or within 500 feet of school property or on a school bus
    • Having a prior unlicensed carry conviction or a conviction of any felony within the past 15 years
  • Possession of a weapon with an obliterated or defaced serial number is also a Level 5 felony,
  • Possession of a machine gun in Indiana is a Level 5 felony
  • Operating a machine gun is a Level 4 felony, carrying a sentence of two to 12 years’ confinement and a fine of up to $10,000
  • Possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon is a Level 4 felony, with an advisory sentence of six years

Do you need more information on firearm possession, licensure, and punishments? Download our Free Indiana Firearms eBook!

The use of a firearm in a non-firearm-related offense can also elevate or enhance the sentence for the separate offense. Under Indiana Code § 35-50-2-11, the court can add five to 20 years to your sentence if the State proves you pointed a firearm at a law enforcement officer or that you have a prior conviction for any of the following offenses:

  • A felony resulting in serious bodily injury or death
  • Kidnapping
  • Criminal confinement as a Level 2 or a Level 3 felony

Given the seriousness of the consequences for a firearms offense in Indiana, consulting with an experienced Indiana gun crimes attorney at Keffer Hirschauer LLP is paramount.

Strategies and Defenses from an Indiana Gun Crimes Attorney

The Indiana gun crimes attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP have experience in prosecutors’ offices around the state, giving them intimate knowledge of how the State approaches the laws and regulations for handguns and how the prosecution approaches these cases. They can help you in defending firearms charges from the beginning of an investigation through trial, plea bargaining, and appeal. Because the penalties and other consequences of gun crime convictions are strict, it is vital to contact an attorney as early as possible. If you are being questioned by police, know and assert your right to consult with an attorney before answering any questions.

In addition to defending persons charged with licensing and possession violations, Keffer Hirschauer LLP also provides information and assistance with acquiring a gun license and license appeals.

And Indiana law provides a procedure by which persons who have lost their right to possess weapons because of a domestic battery offense may seek restoration of those rights after five years have passed. In such cases, the court will consider the listed statutory factors, some of which include whether the person has been the subject of a protective order or restraining order, whether the person is still a threat to the victim, and whether the person has committed subsequent crimes. The attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP provide counsel and strategy in seeking restoration of gun rights.

Local Governments Have Limited Regulatory Authority

Under Indiana Code § 35-47-11.1-1 et seq., the Indiana General Assembly has enacted preemption laws, limiting local governments’ authority to regulate weapons and ammunition possession and use. With limited exceptions, local governments cannot regulate firearms or ammunition:

  • Ownership
  • Possession
  • Carrying
  • Registration
  • Transfer
  • Storage
  • Transportation
  • Sales or taxation

Although local governments may not broadly regulate weapons or ammunition, they may do so in limited circumstances, such as these:

  • Enact ordinances on zoning or business uses that apply equally to firearms businesses as to other businesses
  • Bar the carrying of handguns into courtrooms
  • Prohibit or restrict the carrying of handguns into county hospitals
  • Prohibit or restrict the carrying of handguns into buildings owned by the local government that use metal detectors staffed by at least one law enforcement officer to inspect people and bags

If you’ve been accused of violating a local ordinance or regulation regarding weapons or ammunition, an Indiana gun crimes attorney from Keffer Hirschauer LLP can help you determine whether the ordinance is invalid under the state’s preemption laws.

Contact a Keffer Hirschauer Indiana Gun Crimes Attorney Today

An experienced Indiana gun crimes attorney from Keffer Hirschauer LLP can provide insights, answers, and a rigorous defense to anyone Indiana and federal firearms charges. If you are being investigated or have been arrested on gun charges, you need a lawyer who understands the criminal process and the high stakes involved with gun charges, like the former prosecutors at Keffer Hirschauer LLP.