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  • Writer's pictureBrandon Hicks

Understanding IC 35-47-4-5: Unlawful Possession of Firearm by Serious Violent Felon



The state of Indiana, like many other states in the United States, takes the possession of firearms by certain individuals very seriously. One such law, IC 35-47-4-5, deals with the unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. This law aims to prevent individuals with a history of serious violent felonies from possessing firearms, with the intent to enhance public safety and reduce the potential for further criminal acts. In this blog post, we'll dive into the specifics of IC 35-47-4-5, exploring what it means, who it applies to, and the implications of violating this statute.


Understanding IC 35-47-4-5


IC 35-47-4-5 primarily focuses on the term "serious violent felon." To fully grasp this law, it's essential to understand the definitions and the offenses included in this category.

  1. Serious Violent Felon: The law defines a "serious violent felon" as a person who has previously been convicted of committing a serious violent felony.

  2. Serious Violent Felony: This term includes a range of specific offenses, which are classified as serious violent felonies under IC 35-47-4-5. These offenses include murder, attempted murder, voluntary manslaughter, and many others as listed in the statute.

It's important to note that a serious violent felon who knowingly or intentionally possesses a firearm is in violation of this law, and the penalty for such a violation is categorized as a Level 4 felony in Indiana.

Understanding the Implications

The implications of IC 35-47-4-5 are significant. The primary objective of this law is to restrict individuals with a history of violent crimes from possessing firearms. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Public Safety: The law's intent is to enhance public safety by keeping firearms out of the hands of individuals who have demonstrated a propensity for violent behavior. This is done in the interest of reducing potential future criminal acts and protecting the community.

  2. Penalties: Violation of this law results in a Level 4 felony charge. A conviction can lead to severe consequences, including imprisonment, fines, and a felony record, which can have long-lasting effects on an individual's life.

  3. Firearm Surrender: A serious violent felon who is subject to this law may be required to surrender any firearms they possess. Failure to do so can result in additional legal consequences.


IC 35-47-4-5, the statute governing the unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon in Indiana, serves as a crucial tool for enhancing public safety and reducing the risk of violent crimes committed by individuals with a history of serious violent felonies. It defines the categories of serious violent felonies and outlines the penalties for those who violate the law.

It is essential for individuals to be aware of this law, both in terms of its consequences for those who may be affected and the broader community's safety. By preventing individuals with violent criminal histories from possessing firearms, Indiana aims to create a safer environment for its residents and deter future criminal acts.


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1 Comment


Unknown member
Jan 24

Why is it that att.murder, human trafficking, and strangulation were added to the list in 2023. Those crimes were not considered violent prior to 2023 in Indiana?

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