Firearm charges can be serious crimes in Kentucky and Indiana.

Firearms and Weapons Offenses

Firearm possession and use is a fact of life in Kentucky and Indiana, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any state or federal laws that impact the purchase, possession and use of firearms. Each state’s laws are unique and, depending on the situation, federal laws may also apply. If you live in Kentucky or Indiana and have been charged with a weapons offense, we may be able to help.

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides Americans with a right to own firearms, but that right is not unlimited. Government can regulate who owns what firearms and where, as long as those limitations don’t breach constitutional rights.

Gun-related crimes are a serious issue in Kentucky, Indiana and across the U.S. According to the National Institute of Justice there were 467,321 victims of a crime committed with a firearm in 2011. Tthe Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates firearms were used that year in 68% of murders, 41% of robbery offenses and 21% of aggravated assaults nationwide. Most homicides in the country are committed with firearms, especially handguns.

Kentucky firearms laws

Under Kentucky law, these things are illegal:

  • To own a firearm whose serial number has been obscured or removed
  • To possess, manufacture or sell armor-piercing or “black talon” ammunition
  • For a convicted felon who hasn’t been granted a full pardon (including youthful offenders convicted of felony offenses) and those younger than 18 years old (except when hunting or with permission of parent) to have firearms
  • To carry a concealed weapon without a permit
  • To possess a firearm on or near school property under certain conditions.

In Kentucky, someone who is the subject of a protective order because they’ve been accused of or been shown to have committed domestic violence can be ordered to remove any firearms in their possession. Possession of a firearm while committing a crime such as a robbery or sexual assault can be an aggravating factor and increase potential penalties.

Indiana firearms laws

Indiana’s gun laws make certain weapons, including sawed-off shotguns, armor-piercing bullets and silencers, illegal. There’s no waiting period to buy a gun, but to own one legally a potential owner must meet certain criteria. Those who can’t legally possess a firearm include convicted felons, drug abusers, alcohol abusers, those who are mentally incompetent, those younger than 18 (except if allowed by a parent or guardian) and those who have been found to have committed domestic abuse (unless a judge restores their firearms rights).

It’s also a crime in Indiana to possess a firearm on or near school property unless an exception applies. It’s illegal to sell or transfer a firearm to someone you know is not legally eligible to possess it or who intends to use it to commit a crime. As in Kentucky, using a firearm while committing certain crimes can result in increased penalties.

Federal firearms laws

Federal law prohibits the possession of firearms and ammunition that cross state lines by felons, drug users or addicts, aliens (including those who are undocumented and those in the U.S. legally), someone subject to a domestic violence restraining order or with a prior conviction of domestic assault, and anyone who’s a fugitive from justice or who’s been dishonorably discharged from the military. Federal law also makes it illegal to knowingly sell, transfer or dispose of a firearm in a way that results in anyone in these groups obtaining a firearm.

The use, carrying or possession of a firearm related to or in furtherance of a drug-related felony or federal crime is illegal. The reception, possession, sale, storage or shipment across state lines of stolen guns or ammunition is illegal. To knowingly possess or manufacture a machine gun or fully automatic firearm or silencer without a proper permit is illegal. It’s against federal law to possess or make a sawed-off shotgun or rifle or a firearm lacking a serial number or one that’s been removed or obliterated.

Get help with a Kentucky or Indiana firearm criminal matter

If you believe you’re being investigated for a firearm-related charge or have been arrested for these charges, you need to take this seriously. Depending on the situation and whether you have a past criminal record, the potential criminal penalties could include many years of incarceration.

If you or any member of your family has been arrested or charged with any firearm related crime, get help today. We’re here 24/7 and all you have to do is either call (812) 725-8224 or click the contact us link to set up a free consultation. Protect yourself with the seasoned, experienced criminal trial lawyers of your New Albany Legal Team.