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Earlier this year, Indiana repealed a statewide ban on shotguns with less than an 18 inch barrel, also known as a sawed-off shotgun.
For all the gun enthusiasts out there, here is what you need to know.
What You Can Do
The law will go into effect on July 1st. Starting on that date, it will be legal to manufacture, sell. or own a sawed-off shotgun with barrels 18 inches or less in length. This will bring the law in line with current federal regulations that already allow sawed-off shotguns.
Before you get excited, residents who want a sawed-off shotgun must first undergo a background check and get a permit from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). A permit costs about $200 and can take up to six months to be approved.
What You Can't Do
Don't let the name fool you. Just because you may be eligible to own a sawed-off shotgun, doesn't mean that you can go into your garage on July 1st and saw the barrel of your shotgun to any length you like. That is still illegal. You could get up to 10 years in federal prison for illegally modifying a shotgun yourself.
If you do want a sawed-off shotgun, you must purchase one from a licensed manufacturer.
Other Provisions of the Law
In addition to allowing possession of a sawed-off shotgun, the new law also includes an enhancement provisions. An extra 10 years in prison will be added to a sentence if the defendant was in possession of a sawed-off shotgun in violation of federal law while committing certain crimes.
Similar Laws in Other States
Arizona may soon be following in Indiana's footsteps. Currently, Arizona's laws ban the possession of sawed-off shotguns. However, earlier this year, the state's Senate gave preliminary approval to a bill that would allow residents to own sawed-off shotguns, silencers, and nunchakus.
The bill must first be voted on and approved by the senate first before it is sent to the House of Representatives for voting.
If you live in Indiana and absolutely must have a sawed-off shotgun, make sure you get a permit first and buy one from a licensed manufacturer!
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.