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Four Recent Changes in Indiana Criminal Law Every Gun Owner Should Know

While the implications of the nightclub shooting in Miami and law-making on firearms regulation are unknown, there are four new laws or court decisions every gun owner should know to avoid illegal actions and committing a crime. This blog post covers these changes.

At the state level, and first, the General Assembly has modified Indiana’s law that has prohibited individuals and other legal entities from purchasing short barrel shotguns (SBS) by following the requirements of the federal law commonly known as the National Firearms Act. Until recently, Indiana had a law making sawed-off shotguns illegal and ATFE’s position is this prohibited approval of applications for individuals to make (Form 1) or transfer (Form 4) a short barrel shotgun to the individual. This legal clarification took effect July 1, 2016. This law also allows for an additional 10 year sentence for using a SBS in dealing drugs.1

Second, the Legislature passed a law making it legal to hunt deer with rifles.  These rifles must be chambered in .243, .30-.30, .300, .30-06 or .308 with a maximum case length of 1.16”. There are a number of other restrictions. This law will sunset and such hunting will thereafter be prohibited. This is to give the Indiana Department of Natural Resources time to study the effects of this type of hunting.2 However, it is possible the law may be extended and not sunset. Extreme caution is urged for hunters using rifles to make sure of the backstop as rifles have a long lethal range of travel. Without such prudence, a person far down range may be struck and killed and the hunter charged with reckless homicide.

Third, at the federal level, the legality of AFT has finally implemented a revised version of proposed regulation 41-P, and 41-F, which become effective July 13, 2016. This recognized an NFA trust as legal and, as such, those existing do not contain contraband. After July 13, 2016, all trustees who will have the use of NFA firearms are deemed responsible persons and must submit photos, background questions, and fingerprints to the ATF. CLEO approval is dispensed with in exchange for notification. While existing trusts do not have to make any changes unless they acquire additional NFA firearms, the comments and guidance on NFA trusts issued by AFT in implementing this law would direct a prudent pre-July, 2016 trust be reviewed by a knowledgeable attorney with some revisions likely being necessary.

Finally, the United States Supreme Court in the Voisine case just decided it is constitutional that the single crime--misdemeanor conviction of domestic violence—is an appropriate lifetime bar on the core constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Thus, individuals with such a conviction will have to look to the state of conviction for other legal tools to restore this right. Indiana has a few such narrow avenues.

This blog post was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. who handle criminal defense and firearms matters throughout the Indianapolis metropolitan area and the State of Indiana. In addition, the firm consults on firearms cases on a wide variety of legal topics across the United States. This blog is not intended to be specific legal advice or a solicitation for services. It is an advertisement.


  1. Indiana Code 35-50-2-15.
  2. Indiana Code 14-22-2-8.
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Ciyou & Dixon, P.C., is a law firm located in Indianapolis, Indiana. We serve clients in six core practice areas: family lawappellate practicefirearms lawgeneral practicepersonal injury and criminal law.

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Based in Indianapolis and founded in 1995, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. is a niche law firm focused on successfully dealing with the complexities of divorce, high-conflict child custody and family law. Known for their ability to solve extremely complex situations with high quality work and responsiveness, Ciyou & Dixon will guide you every step of the way. The family law attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. will help you precisely identify your objectives and the means to reach your desired result. In addition, this practice focus is augmented by the firm's other three core areas, namely appellate advocacy, civil practice, and firearms law. Life is uncertain. Be certain of your counselSM.

Indianapolis Divorce Attorneys, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. of Indianapolis, Indiana, offers legal services for Indianapolis, Zionsville, Noblesville, Carmel, Avon, Anderson, Danville, Greenwood, Brownsburg, Geist, Fortville, McCordsville, Muncie, Greenfield, Westfield, Fort Wayne, Fishers, Bloomington, Lafayette, Marion County, Hamilton County, Hendricks County, Allen County, Delaware County, Morgan County, Hendricks County, Boone County, Vigo County, Johnson County, Hancock County, and Tippecanoe County, Indiana.