Often times in the fall around deer hunting season I receive the question on whether or not an individual with a felony conviction is able to hunt with muzzleloaders in the state of Indiana. The short answer is, it depends. Under Federal Law, any individual convicted of a felony is prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm. However, the federal definition of a firearm does not include all muzzleloaders, it does include some. Therefore, an individual with an Indiana felony under federal law may be prohibited from possessing certain types of muzzleloaders but it depends on the particular muzzleloader. General rule of thumb is it if requires a background check to purchase then it is a firearm under Federal Law and cannot be possessed by someone with a felony record.
However, the analysis does not end at federal law and we must look at Indiana State Law. Under Indiana State Law a muzzleloader does meet the definition of a firearm under IC 35-47-1-5. However, in Indiana Law, not all felons are prohibited from possessing firearms. Under Indiana law, individuals convicted of domestic battery or a crime listed under the Serious Violent Felon statute in IC 35-47-4-5 are prohibited from possessing a firearm. Therefore, this would include a prohibition against possession of any sort of muzzleloader. It should be noted while that IC 35-47-1-5 is entitled “Serious Violent Felon”, certain types of drug felonies are listed in that statute and thus individuals with convictions for those offenses would be prohibited from possession muzzleloaders under Indiana state law
It is important to have an attorney analyze your individual situation and even the muzzleloader with which you intend to hunt prior to any determination as to whether your felony conviction is a prohibition for possession of a muzzleloader in the state of Indiana.
Please call us at 574-371-2052 and we would be more than happy to set up a consultation to analyze your individual situation. Contact Us