There are some slight changes or clarifications in the law. There are two (2) components to the pre-506 and post-506 law. The first is the means by which a handgun is transported to a dealer for repair. The second is the handling (carry) of the firearm when returned at the dealer.
Under the laws repealed (invalidated) by Indiana Senate Bill 506, a person did not need a License to return a handgun to a dealer for repair. However, he or she had to transport the handgun unloaded and in a “secure wrapper” to the place of repair.
The requirements of a “secure wrapper” caused many non-Licensees problems. Namely, in the case of a traffic stop or otherwise, the handgun was disclosed or discovered in a condition that was not a secure wrapper. A “secure wrapper” is a state of existence where the occupants of the vehicle in which the handgun is being transported are not able to access its injurious capabilities.
The law is mostly silent when the owner of the handgun reassembled it at the dealer’s place of business for repair. Clearly, it had to be a FFL holder. In theory, there was a moment where the handgun would be carried by a non-License holder at a place not on or in his or her dwelling, property, or fixed place of business.
Indiana Senate Bill 506 remedies any ambiguities in this circumstance. It specifically provides an exception to Licensing carry if the person is on the property to receive firearms-related services, including the repair, maintenance, or modification of the firearm.
Although Indiana Senate Bill 506 repeals the “secure wrapper” express statutory provision, it clearly retains that condition or state of existence for the handgun to be lawfully transported in a vehicle to a place of maintenance or repair. This means it must be transported such as not to be deemed actual or constructive carrying of the handgun where a License would be required.
Because the provision for transporting a handgun in a vehicle without a License is effectuated by different legal language, despite no perceptible practical difference as it applies to return to place of repair, the transportation requirement is addressed in a subsequent blog post.
The end result is that SB 506 clarifies that within a place of repair, a License would not be needed. Presumably, before, this was less clear, but effectively deemed so, as the handgun was under the constructive control of the FFL holder once it left the “secure wrapper.”
Furthermore, Indiana Senate Bill 506 goes beyond this prior exception and allows for maintenance (which may not necessarily be repair) and for modification. Modification sweeps in virtually every other circumstance in which it might be taken back to the selling dealer or other dealer.
All such circumstances, assuming the handgun was lawfully transported to and from, would be accepted within the FFL’s premises from the need for a License. This is perhaps more precise than necessary in most circumstances. However, precision eliminates ambiguities that create civil and criminal risk.
Nevertheless, understanding these subtle differences allows Licensees, non-licensees, law enforcement, and the rest of the lawful citizenry to interact with the law — and remain in lawful compliance.