In Indiana, it is unlawful for a serious violent felon, whether convicted in Indiana or another state, to possess a firearm1. However, when applying for a concealed firearms permit, or to purchase a firearm, you may be denied for a myriad of other reasons. Indiana, like most states, are updating their criminal records to online systems, which provide for quicker and more thorough background checks, however, there may be occasions where old criminal records are updated incorrectly. In other cases, a conviction, or criminal charge may be so old, that one has forgotten about it, and innocently failed to disclose it on an application. These are just some examples of why you may be denied a permit or to purchase a firearm.
Luckily, there is an appeal process for a denial and/or options to restoring your rights. If you do have a felony on your record, you may be able to get it expunged under the newly enacted Indiana Code § 35-50-2-7 which provides that certain Class D felony convictions could be reduced to a Class A misdemeanor.2 To qualify for your class D felony to be reduced to a misdemeanor, you must meet the following qualifications:
- Not be a sex or violent offender
- Your class D felony must not have included acts resulting in bodily injury to another person.
- Not have been convicted of perjury or official misconduct (under Indiana Code § 35-44-2-1 or § 35-44-1-2).
- Three (3) years must have elapsed since you completed your sentence and satisfied any other obligation imposed as a result of the sentence for your class D felony.
- Not been convicted of any other felonies after completion of your sentence.
- Have no other criminal charges pending.
However, a trial court has the discretion to grant or deny your request for relief. If you have been denied purchase of a firearm, or your application for a concealed carry permit been denied, you have sixty (60) days to appeal. Therefore, locating an attorney that can help you through the appeals process, and/or take action to address the underlying reason for the denial is important to protecting and restoring your rights.
We hope that you have found this information to be helpful. This is not intended to be legal advice. If you have questions or concerns about your specific case and whether you may be eligible to seek a reduction of your Class D felony to a Class A misdemeanor, CIYOU & DIXON, P.C. can help evaluate your specific case. This blog post was written by Attorney, Lori B. Schmeltzer.