When reviewing your rights to possess firearms in relation to the Indiana Expungement law, it is important to understand there are two caveats to your rights: State Law and Federal Law. Although Indiana has provided statewide expungement rights as most state do, that does not mean Federal Law has to follow suit. Quite the contrary actually, as the Department of Justice does not consider the Indiana Expungement law a true expungement and has clearly stated that regardless of Indiana State Law, Federal Law supersedes and does NOT recognize the Indiana expungement for purposes of restoring the ability for an individual to obtain a valid firearm license. Moreover, Indiana provided language regarding the right to possess firearms for individuals that have a prior felony that was expunged in the original law verbiage, but that does not change the fact that Federal Law does not recognize it.
One very troubling fact to also consider is that many people have had their Indiana felonies expunged and may be operating on the assumption that their firearms right have been restored, when in-fact, they have not. Even if that individual has a court order from an Indiana judge stating their rights have been restored, it is not .
The Indiana Expungement statute has many other advantages to help people minimize individuals past mistakes. I anticipate some changes in the future to attempt to fix what appears the Indiana Legislature was ultimately trying to accomplish. While understanding that firearm rights were originally included, they have been removed with the newly amended Indiana expungement law because of the Federal push back. Although this could be quite confusing for the layman, the fact is and will remain unless the U.S. Department of Justice changes their stance, a successful appeal is undertaken, or the law is rewritten: an Indiana expungement of a prior conviction is not a valid path for reacquiring firearm rights. Depending on an individual circumstances, it may be worth reviewing your potential case with an expungement expert at Duepner Law. There are alternatives to an Indiana Expungement that may restore your firearm rights. Please contact us right away for a consultation.