Indiana has relatively weak laws to disarm hate, allowing people to keep and access firearms, including assault weapons, after they have been convicted of violent hate crimes.
Access to Guns for People Convicted of Hate Crimes in Indiana
|Violence with Severe Bodily Injury||Violence with Bodily Injury||Other Crimes Involving Intentional Use of Force||Threats with Deadly Weapons|
Other Credible Threats to Physical Safety
|Federal Law||Very limited or no access||Some access||Some access||Some access|
|State Law||Very limited or no access||Significant access||Significant access||Some access|
Indiana law authorizes (but does not require) courts to weigh hate motivation as a factor in criminal sentencing, though Indiana does not reclassify the severity of an offense or otherwise authorize extended sentences for hate crimes above the maximum term courts may already impose for the underlying crime.1 (Indiana’s law also does not include the victim’s ethnicity, gender or gender identity as protected categories).
Indiana prohibits people from accessing firearms if they have been convicted of a “serious violent felony,”2 which is generally defined to include violent conduct that results in serious bodily injury,3 or involves battery with a deadly weapon4 or stalking with credible threats of serious bodily injury or death.5People convicted of these offenses are generally prohibited from accessing firearms under both state and federal law in Indiana.
However, people convicted of other violent felonies (those not designated as “serious violent felonies”) are prohibited from accessing firearms under federal law only.6These offenses include battery resulting in “moderate bodily injury,”7 intentional strangulation,8 threatening violence, even while drawing or using a deadly weapon,9 and shooting into an inhabited building.10
Furthermore, people convicted of violent hate-motivated misdemeanors in Indiana remain eligible to access firearms under both state and federal law,11including crimes involving intentional infliction of bodily injury,12 violent behavior creating a substantial risk of injury,13 and other credible threats to commit criminal violence.14
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- Ind. Code Ann. § 35-38-1-7.1(a)(12).
- Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-4-5.
- See Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-4-5(b)(4); “Battery,” Ind. Code Ann. § 35-42-2-1(g).
- Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-4-5(b); Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-10-5.
- Federal law generally prohibits people from accessing guns if they have been convicted of a felony punishable by over one year in prison, or a state law misdemeanor punishable by more than two years. 18 U.S.C. § 922 (g)(1); 921(a)(20)(B).
- Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-4-5(b)(4); “Battery,” Ind. Code Ann. § 35-42-2-1(e).
- Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-4-5(b); Ind. Code Ann. § 35-42-2-9.
- Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-4-5(b); Ind. Code Ann. § 35-45-2-1(b).
- Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-4-5(b); Ind. Code Ann. § 35-42-2-2(b)(2).
- Under Indiana law, the maximum sentence for a misdemeanor is one-year imprisonment, Ind. Code Ann. § 35-50-3, so outside the domestic violence context, Indiana misdemeanor convictions do not trigger federal firearm restrictions.
- Ind. Code Ann. § 35-42-2-1(d).
- Ind. Code Ann. § 35-42-2-2(a); Ind. Code Ann. § 35-42-2-1(c).
- Ind. Code Ann. § 35-45-2-1(a).