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Firearms and Indiana’s “Dangerous Person” Statute

Last month, Indiana Attorney General, Curtis Hill, met with President Donald Trump to discuss a little-known Indiana statute and express his desire to increase its use within the State of Indiana. Indiana Code § 35-47-14-1 defines a “dangerous” person as someone who presents an imminent risk of injury to self or others or presents a risk of injury in the future and has a mental illness that is untreated or is currently not being medicated or there is evidence that the person has a propensity for violence.

In Indiana, a person’s firearms can be seized, either by issuance of a warrant from a Judge or if a law enforcement officer comes into contact with the person, and a firearm, and believes them to be dangerous. If the second happens the officer must file an affidavit with a Court requesting that the Judge agrees with his assessment by the legal standard of probable cause. Within 14 days of the seizure of a firearm a Court shall have a hearing to determine if the firearm is returned or retained by law enforcement. At a hearing the State of Indiana has to prove by clear and convincing evidence all material facts. If the person is deemed dangerous, the guns are retained and their license to carry a firearm is suspended. If it is not determined the individual gets their firearms back. If the Court finds the person dangerous, they must wait 180 days and petition the Court for the return of their firearms. If they fail, they must wait another 180 days. If five (5) years have passed since the first hearing, with notice given, the Court can order the disposition of the firearm.

There is little doubt that issues and the discussion related to guns, gun ownership, and gun control will vigorously continue. To that end, knowing the current laws and your rights under those laws is an important part of that discussion.

Looking for a firearms attorney in Indianapolis that understands your criminal and constitutional rights? Contact the attorneys at Keffer Barnhart LLP today if you have questions or believe your rights have been violated. We stand ready to provide our clients with trusted representation and accurate information regarding the law and its application to their individualized case. Act now and contact us today at 1-800-NOT-GUILTY or (317) 857-0160.