If you are a convicted felon in Indiana, then you are not eligible to own or possess a firearm. In fact, if you have been convicted of a crime of “domestic violence” in Indiana, you may have lost your gun rights too. Don’t worry – you may be eligible to restore your gun rights. Whether you are interested in applying for a license to carry a handgun or simply want to buy a rifle, Stracci Law Group may be able to help.
The accomplished attorneys at Stracci Law Group can help determine your gun rights restoration eligibility through a free consultation. Call (219) 525-1000 or contact us online for a comprehensive evaluation. We serve clients throughout Northwest Indiana, including Crown Point, Valparaiso, Hammond, and Gary.
Am I Eligible To Restore My Gun Rights?
Over the past decade, Indiana and Federal law have expanded to allow restoration of gun rights at both the state and federal level for convicted felons. The plain language of federal law allows for the restoration of federal firearm rights by one of three ways: (1) expungement or the setting aside of a conviction; (2) the restoration of civil rights; (3) or pardon.
In 2015, the Indiana legislature amended I.C. § 35-38-9-10(c) to include the restoration of the right to be a proper person and to no longer impose a restriction on firearm rights when a conviction has been expunged. Further confirmation was provided by the ATF, when they concluded that while expungement alone was insufficient, the restoration of civil rights pursuant to Indiana Code § 35-38-9-10(c), along with the restoration of the status to be a proper person, by expunction was sufficient to restore federal firearm rights.
How To Restore Gun Rights As a Convicted Felon
The most common way for a felon to restore their gun rights in Indiana is through an expungement. If the Indiana felony conviction is for the following, then that person is not eligible and cannot restore their gun rights/civil rights:
- Two or more felony offenses that involve the use of a deadly weapon and were not committed as part of the same episode of criminal conduct;
- Homicide crimes, and most crimes resulting in death;
- Sex crimes;
- Human and sexual trafficking crimes;
- Official misconduct; and
- Any Sex/Violent offender crime (as defined by I.C. § 11-8-8-5)
If you were convicted of a felony that is not listed above, you may be eligible for expungement in Indiana. However, Indiana code provides that certain felonies must be expunged if you meet certain conditions, while other felonies may only be expunged if a judge allows. For more information, see our page on Expungement. (hyperlink)
How To Restore Gun Rights If Convicted Of Domestic Violence
If you were convicted of a crime of domestic violence in Indiana, you may have given up your gun rights without realizing it. Under Indiana law, those convicted of domestic violence crimes have to file a petition to restore their gun rights and are required to wait five (5) years to file the petition. If you were convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence in Indiana, then you only need to file a petition for restoration of gun rights IN ORDER FOR THE JUDGE TO CONSIDER GRANTING YOUR PETITION. However, if you were convicted of a felony crime of domestic violence in Indiana, then you will need to explore an expungement of your felony conviction in addition to filing a petition for restoration of gun rights.
Domestic violence crimes can include domestic battery, invasion of privacy, and stalking. However, it may extend to other charges including but not limited to harassment, battery, and strangulation under Indiana Code §31-9-2-42. The lifelong criminal defense lawyers and former prosecutors at Stracci Law Group can help you determine whether you were convicted of a crime of domestic violence and whether you will need to restore your gun rights.
Filing A Petition To Restore Gun Rights
Once you have completed the requirements for filing a petition and it is filed, the Court will likely set a hearing so that you and the State of Indiana can present their respective arguments. At the hearing, the court will consider a host of factors listed below in making a determination on the petition.
a. Whether the person has been subject to:
- A protective order;
- A no contact order;
- A workplace violence restraining order; or
- Any other court order that prohibits the person from possessing a firearm;
b. Whether the person has successfully completed a substance abuse program, if applicable.
c. Whether the person has successfully completed a parenting class, if applicable.
d. Whether the person still presents a threat to the victim of the crime.
e. Whether there is any other reason why the person should not possess a firearm, including whether the person failed to satisfy a specified condition under subsection (c) or whether the person has committed a subsequent offense.
Ultimately, the decision to restore your gun rights will be up to the Judge. The Judge may grant the petition, deny the petition, or order that you complete additional conditions in order to restore your gun rights. If the court denies your petition, you will have to wait one year from the filing of the petition to file a subsequent petition. That is why it is vital you hire the experienced attorneys at Stracci Law Group to advocate on your behalf before and at the hearing on your petition for restoration of gun rights.
Let Our Lawyers Fight For Your Gun Rights Today
The process to restore your gun rights in Indiana can be complicated, but the veteran attorneys of Stracci Law Group are here to help. If you are interested in restoring your federal and Indiana gun rights, call Stracci Law Group at (219) 525-1000.