Domestic Violence Perpetrators

A person subject to an order for protection for domestic or family violence may be prohibited by a court from using or possessing a firearm or ammunition.1 The order may direct the subject person to surrender to law enforcement the firearm and ammunition for the duration of the order. See the Indiana Domestic Violence and Firearms section for further information.

Dangerous Individuals

Under Indiana law, a circuit or superior court may issue a warrant to search for and seize a firearm in the possession of a “dangerous individual” if:

  • A law enforcement officer provides the court a sworn affidavit describing the facts that have led the officer to believe the individual is dangerous and in possession of a firearm. The affidavit must also describe the officer’s interactions and conversations with:

The individual who is alleged to be dangerous; or

Another individual, if the law enforcement officer believes that information obtained from this individual is credible and reliable;

  • The affidavit specifically describes the location of the firearm; and
  • The circuit or superior court determines that probable cause exists to believe that the individual is dangerous and in possession of a firearm.2

For the purposes of this provision, the term “dangerous individual” is defined to include a person who:

  • Presents an imminent risk of personal injury to himself, herself or another person; or
  • Presents a risk of personal injury to himself, herself or another person in the future and he or she:

Has a mental illness that may be controlled by medication, and has not demonstrated a pattern of voluntarily and consistently taking the individual’s medication while not under supervision; or

Is the subject of documented evidence that would give rise to a reasonable belief that he or she has a propensity for violent or emotionally unstable conduct.3

Law enforcement officers may seize firearms from any individual whom the law enforcement officer believes to be dangerous without obtaining a warrant. In such an instance, the officer must submit to the court having jurisdiction over the individual a written statement under oath or affirmation describing the basis for the officer’s belief that the individual is dangerous.4

If the court finds that probable cause exists to believe the individual is dangerous, the court shall order the law enforcement agency having custody of the firearm to retain the firearm.5

If the court finds that there is no such probable cause, the court shall order the law enforcement agency having custody of the firearm to return the firearm to the individual.6

If the firearm is retained, the court shall conduct a hearing to determine whether the seized firearm should be returned to the individual from whom the firearm was seized, or retained by the law enforcement agency having custody of the firearm.7 If the court determines that the individual is dangerous, it may order that the law enforcement agency retain the firearm.8 Furthermore, if the individual has a license to carry a handgun, the court shall suspend the individual’s license. If the court determines that the state has failed to prove that the individual is dangerous, however, the court shall order that the law enforcement agency return the firearm to the individual from whom it was seized.9

If a court orders a law enforcement agency to retain individual’s firearm, the individual may petition the court for return of the firearm at least 180 days after the initial ruling.10 The petitioner must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the individual is not dangerous to obtain the firearm.11 If the court denies return of the firearm, the petitioner must wait another 180 days before filing a subsequent petition.12

Notes
  1. Ind. Code Ann. § 34-26-5-9(c)(4), (f). ⤴︎
  2. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-14-2. ⤴︎
  3. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-14-1(a). ⤴︎
  4. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-14-3(a). ⤴︎
  5. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-14-3(b). ⤴︎
  6. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-14-3(b). ⤴︎
  7. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-14-5(a). ⤴︎
  8. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-14-6(b). ⤴︎
  9. Id. ⤴︎
  10. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-14-8(a). ⤴︎
  11. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-14-8(d)(2), (e). ⤴︎
  12. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-14-8(f). ⤴︎