Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants

Persons convicted of domestic battery may not possess or carry a firearm.1 In 2014, Indiana enacted a law stating that expunction of a crime of domestic violence does not restore a person’s right to possess a firearm.2 However, five years following a conviction, a person may petition to have his or her right to possess a firearm restored.3

Federal law also prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by certain domestic abusers.

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders

Indiana permits victims of domestic or family violence to seek protective orders for themselves or a child.4 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.5 Furthermore, the order may direct the subject person to surrender to law enforcement the firearm and ammunition for the duration of the order.

Federal law also prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by a person subject to a protective order issued after notice to the abuser and a hearing, if the order protects an “intimate partner” of the abuser, or a child of the abuser or intimate partner.

Removal or Surrender of Firearms When Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders Are Issued

Indiana authorizes, but does not require, courts to issue protective orders that specifically direct the abuser to surrender all firearms and ammunition in his or her possession.6 The order may direct the subject person to surrender to law enforcement the firearm and ammunition for the duration of the order.7

Removal or Surrender of Firearms at the Scene of a Domestic Violence Incident

In Indiana, law enforcement is authorized, but not required, to remove firearms observed at the scene of a domestic or family violence incident. Law enforcement officers responding to the scene of an alleged crime involving domestic or family violence are authorized to confiscate and remove any firearms or ammunition from the scene, if the officer:

  • Has probable cause to believe that a crime involving domestic or family violence has occurred;
  • Observes the firearm or ammunition at the scene; and
  • Has a reasonable belief that the firearm or ammunition: 1) exposes the victim to an immediate risk of serious bodily injury; or 2) was an instrumentality of the crime involving domestic or family violence.8

Any removed firearms or ammunition are to be safely stored by law enforcement pending proceedings related to the alleged act of domestic or family violence.9

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Ind. Code Ann. §§§ 35-42-2-1.3; 35-47-2-1(c); 35-47-4-6. ⤴︎
  2. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-38-9-6(f). ⤴︎
  3. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-4-7. ⤴︎
  4. Ind. Code Ann. § 34-26-5-2. ⤴︎
  5. Ind. Code Ann. § 34-26-5-9(c)(4), (f). ⤴︎
  6. Ind. Code Ann. § 34-26-5-9(c)(4), (f). ⤴︎
  7. Id. ⤴︎
  8. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-33-1-1.5(b). ⤴︎
  9. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-33-1-1.5(c). ⤴︎