Indiana Weapons Offenses Are Numerous But All Are Treated Seriously
Gun-related crimes have spiked in the Midwest in recent years, especially in Chicago, and Indiana gun dealers have been tagged as the source of many of the guns used in the crimes. A 2009 University of Chicago Crime Lab report indicated that 20 percent of all guns recovered by Chicago police between 2004 and 2008 were purchased in Indiana.
Prosecuting gun-related crimes is a priority for Indiana law enforcement agencies, and there are numerous state laws that put limits on the possession, distribution, and use of firearms. If you own or are considering purchasing a firearm, you need to be aware of these statutes as there are serious consequences if you are charged and convicted of a weapons-related offense.
- Carrying a handgun without being licensed – it is illegal to carry a handgun in any vehicle or on or about your body without being licensed to do so, with some limited exceptions. Beginning July 1, 2014, violations of this law will be treated as a Class A misdemeanor. If the offense occurs on or near a school or by a person with certain prior convictions, it will be charged as a Level 5 felony.
- Giving false information or offering false evidence of identity when purchasing or applying for firearms and handguns – it is a crime to knowingly or intentionally provide false information when purchasing or applying for a gun license. Beginning July 1, 2014, violations of this law will be charged as a Level 5 felony.
- Obliterating identification marks on a handgun or possessing altered handguns – it is illegal to change, alter, remove, or obliterate the name of the maker, model, manufacturer’s serial number, or other mark of identification on any handgun or to possess a gun that has been altered. Beginning July 1, 2014, violations of this law will be charged as a Level 5 felony.
- Possession of firearms on school property or on a school bus – guns are not allowed on school property. Beginning July 1, 2014, guns are also prohibited from property that is being used for a school function. This is a Level 6 felony beginning July 1, 2014.
- Dangerous possession of a firearm by children – it is a crime for children to possess guns other than for certain limited purposes, or to give guns to other children other than for specific permitted purposes. Adults are also prohibited from providing guns to children for purposes other than those authorized in the state statute. Beginning July 1, 2014, violating this law will be treated as a Class A misdemeanor. If the child has a prior conviction, this offense will be treated as a Level 5 felony.
- Delivery of deadly weapon to intoxicated person – the law prohibits providing a deadly weapon to an intoxicated person, or to a person who is known to become intoxicated. Violations of this law are treated as a Class B misdemeanor.
- Pointing firearm at another person – it is against the law to point a gun, whether loaded or unloaded, at another person. Beginning July 1, 2014, this offense will be treated as a Level 6 felony if the gun is loaded and a Class A misdemeanor if the gun is not loaded.
- Unlawful possession of firearm by serious violent felon – it is against the law to possess firearms if you have committed murder, manslaughter, battery, child molestation, arson and other serious felonies. Violations of this law will be treated as a Level 4 felony starting July 1, 2014.
- Unlawful possession of a firearm by a domestic batterer – a person who has been convicted of domestic violence may not possess a firearm unless his right to possess the firearm is legally restored by law. This is a Class A misdemeanor.
What Are The Penalties For Violating Indiana’s Weapons Laws?
Crimes involving weapons are serious offenses in Indiana with severe consequences. Penalties differ depending on the severity of the crime. Beginning July 1, 2014, Indiana’s current four-level felony penalty classification will be replaced with a six-level felony penalty classification. The penalties for the various Indiana weapons crimes under the current system and new system are outlined below.
- Class A Felony (current), Level 1 or 2 Felony (new): 10-50 years in state prison, $10,000 fine
- Class B Felony (current), Level 3 or 4 Felony (new): 2-20 years in state prison, $10,000 fine
- Class C Felony (current), Level 5 Felony (new): 1-6 years in state prison, $10,000 fine
- Class D Felony (current), Level 6 Felony (new): 6-30 months in state prison, $10,000 fine
- Class A Misdemeanor: 0-365 days in county jail, $5,000 fine
- Class B Misdemeanor: 0-180 days in county jail, $1,000 fine
- Class C Misdemeanor: 0-60 days in county jail, $500 fine
Indianapolis Criminal Defense Attorney John Razumich Can Help You With All Weapons Charges
Indianapolis criminal defense attorney John Razumich provides exceptional representation for clients facing a wide range of criminal charges, including weapons offenses. If you have been charged with violating Indiana’s weapons laws, Mr. Razumich will fight for you every step of the way to get the best results that will allow you to move forward with your life.
This website has been prepared by John Razumich, Attorney at Law for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.