Citizens of every state should be familiar with their state’s gun laws before they purchase their first firearm. Violating any of these laws could mean a felony or other legal charge that could alter the course of your life.
In Indiana, there are specific laws every potential gun owner should know about.
- Permits and Registration
Indiana’s gun restrictions are not as strict as in some states, but it’s crucial to know when permits and licenses are required. You do not need a permit of purchase, registration, license, or permit for the purchase of a rifle or shotgun. These are typically used for hunting purposes, so there’s less regulation of these weapons.
For handguns, the policies are more stringent. You do not need a permit of purchase, registration, or license for a handgun. But if you wish to carry, you must obtain a permit.
- Sell or Transfer of Firearm
If you want to sell or transfer a firearm, certain buyers are off limits. It’s illegal to sell or transfer a handgun to anyone under 18 unless the gun is a gift from a parent or guardian. It’s also unlawful to sell or transfer a firearm to:
- A convicted felon
- Drug or alcohol abusers
- Anyone in a state of intoxication at the time of purchase
- A person who is mentally incompetent
- Those who may otherwise be unfit to handle a gun safely
It might be difficult to tell whether the person you’re selling to qualifies for any of these conditions, but if you have cause to believe that he or she might, stop the sale.
Dealers of firearms must comply with federal regulations and require an NICS background check. If a dealer does not follow this procedure, you shouldn’t purchase a gun from that person. Even though you could be viewed as the victim of another person’s crime here, it could still cause legal problems for you down the road.
When you transfer a firearm, you’ll want to protect yourself. If something about the deal doesn’t seem right, it’s best to back out and find another buyer.
- Possession Regulations
There are no state permit requirements in Indiana for the possession of a rifle, shotgun, or handgun unless you’re carrying the handgun away from home, in which case you need a concealed carry permit. There are strict gun possession guidelines for minors, however. Minors (individuals below the age of 18) may not be allowed to possess or shoot a gun unless:
- They’re attending a hunter or firearm safety course with adult supervision
- They’re shooting at a certified range under adult supervision
- They’re on property owned by a parent and have adult supervision
Even if you have a concealed carry permit, it’s illegal to enter school property, aircraft, airports, state fairs, and any other area that’s marked as a gun-free zone with a firearm.
- Illegal Firearms
Every state has a list of firearms that are illegal for possession at any time. In Indiana, the following items are prohibited:
- Sawed-off shotgun
- Machine gun
- Armor-piercing handgun
- Armor-piercing ammunition
Possession of any of these items can be penalized by a serious fine and possibly prison time if a conviction is successful. The penalty and/or jail sentence depends on the severity of the crime. For example, possession of a machine gun is treated as a Class C felony, which can draw a sentence of between two and eight years in prison; while possession of a sawed-off shotgun is considered a class D felony, which could result in a sentence of between six months and three years in prison.
Felony convictions are not uncommon in the case of illegal firearm possession, and such a ruling could drastically change your life. It’s vital to be aware of the laws so you don’t break them, but if you find yourself facing a gun charge, get a certified Indiana attorney to plead your case in court.
- Carry Limits
In Indiana, concealed carry permits are required for carrying a weapon in your car or on your person. Transport of a gun to a shooting range or personal property are exempt as long as the firearm is unloaded and carried in a secure wrapper.
However, you don’t need a license if you’re carrying on your property or fixed place of business. Some individuals are otherwise permitted to carry a handgun, including law enforcement, military personnel, or someone authorized to carry a gun as a feature of employment.
- Carry License Procedure
In order to apply for a license that is good for four years, an application must be filled out and submitted to the sheriff or chief law enforcement officer in your city or county of residence. Upon receipt of the application, the law enforcement officer will run an investigation on the applicant to verify character, reputation, and other applicable information that may or may not prohibit carrying a gun.
There will also be a qualified background check from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) that searchs for felonies and other charges that would prohibit gun ownership. Without approval of this license, a gun owner is not allowed to carry on his or her person or in a vehicle.
To date, the requirements for approval of a carry license are as follows:
- At least 18 years of age and in good standing in the community
- No felonies or crime convictions with a sentence that lasted more than a year
- No drug or alcohol abuse
- No past history of violence, instability, or abuse
- Complete honesty on the application
- No counts of resisting law enforcement or breaking gun laws within five years of the application date
- No history of juvenile delinquency among applicants under the age of 23
The law enforcement officer who runs the application may find other delinquent actions that could disqualify a person from obtaining a gun license. That will be handled on a case to case basis. If you believe you have been denied the right to carry a firearm unfairly, you can appeal the decision with the assistance of an attorney.
- Misuse of Firearms
There are serious consequences for anyone found in disobedience of the laws and regulations for gun use and ownership. Ownership of illegal guns or carrying without a permit have serious consequences that range from a hefty fine to several years in prison. Convicted felons in possession of a firearm or others deemed unfit to handle a gun will also be subject to legal penalty.
In the state of Indiana, it’s also considered unlawful to point a firearm at another person unless it’s done so in a self-defense situation. Pointing a gun at someone is labeled a Class D felony that can draw between six months and three years in prison; although if the gun is unloaded, the maximum would be a year or less in jail and $5,000 in fines.
Contact Rowdy Williams About Gun Charges Today!
The penalties for disobeying gun laws in Indiana often include jail time and a felony conviction, which can change the course of your life forever. If you’ve found yourself on the wrong side of the law, it’s vital to seek proper legal counsel. Contact the law offices of Rowdy Williams for a free consultation today!