Most Hoosiers know were a gun-friendly state. In fact, Indiana ranks among the highest for gun rights. For example, there are hundreds of thousands of residents who have a License to Carry a Handgun. With “carrying” there is significant misunderstanding of the Castle Doctrine and the right to Stand Your Ground with the right to draw your firearm. These limits are the topic of coverage in this blog.
In Indiana, a person can stand his or her ground and not retreat if it is reasonable. This allows the use of force to protect person and property. However, the use of force at your home and in public and private places must be proportional. What this means is a person can only draw or point a handgun or other firearm in three instances.
The first is to protect attack on his or home or curtilage and occupied motor vehicle if it is reasonable. The second is if it is reasonably necessary to stop a forcible felony, such as a rape. Finally, this right exists in cases of a reasonable fear of serious bodily injury or death. These rights are unique to the facts of each case. That is why any statements about pointing a firearm should be made with counsel. What you do or don’t say may haunt you.
For example of these limits, a person cannot point a firearm at someone for blowing grass clippings on or throwing trash into his or her yard. Equally a person cannot point a firearm for any other purpose unless he or she fits into one of the noted exceptions.
Routinely, we defend cases involving a person who points a gun at a person, not within their right to do so, which is a force that is not proportional and not allowed by Indiana law. So as another example, you cannot pull a gun on someone stealing your food in the food court at a mall. Failing to understand the limits of the Castle Doctrine and Standing Your Ground may land you in jail and result in you being charged with a Level 6 Felony for pointing a firearm.
Know what you can and cannot do.
This blog is written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. who handle criminal cases and firearms’ matters throughout the state. This blog is intended for general informational purposes only and is not a solicitation for legal services. It is an advertisement.