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Attorney General Todd Rokita is defending Hoosiers’ Second Amendment rights in a legal opinionrequested by the Indiana State Police regarding the FBI’s misunderstanding of Indiana law.  

“In Indiana, we believe expungement restores civil rights, including Hoosiers’ Second Amendment rights,” Attorney General Rokita said. “America values justice and liberty for all, and this includes reinstating the right to vote, hold public office, serve as a juror, and purchase a firearm.”  

The FBI has denied the right of Hoosiers who have successfully had specific categories of felony convictions expunged in Indiana courts to purchase or possess firearms. 

Each state has its own list of criminal records that can be expunged. What is eligible for expungement depends on the state – not the FBI. 

The Legislature has spoken unequivocally as to what categories of felonies are eligible for expungement consideration, and Indiana’s expungement process does NOT apply to the following felonies: 

· a sex or violent offender 

· a person convicted of official misconduct 

· a person convicted of any homicide offense 

· a person convicted of any human and sex trafficking offense 

· a person convicted of any sex crime offense 

· a person convicted of two or more felony offenses that involved the unlawful use of a deadly weapon and were not committed as part of the same episode of criminal conduct 

· a person convicted of a felony that resulted in the death of another person 

These exceptions aim to keep people safe from violent felons obtaining weapons while also preserving the rights of those who have had more minor crimes erased or expunged from their criminal record. 

“Our legislators are voted in by regular, everyday Hoosiers,” Attorney General Rokita said. “They take on issues important to the public while ensuring they follow the U.S. and Indiana constitutions. Any limitations on owning or purchasing a firearm must be very narrow and clearly justified to avoid the violation to our Second Amendment rights.” 

Guy Relford, an Indiana attorney, radio host, author, Certified Firearms Instructor, and founder of The2AProject.com also submitted feedback in support of Attorney General Rokita’s Opinion. 

"Bureaucrats in Washington have repeatedly attempted to thwart the clear intention of the Indiana General Assembly to restore the right to possess a firearm of persons who have earned the opportunity to expunge their felony convictions,” Relford said. “In that process, I believe that the FBI and the federal Department of Justice have intentionally mischaracterized and misinterpreted our expungement statute so as to wrongfully deny the Second Amendment rights of Hoosiers. Official Opinion 2024-1, issued today by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, clarifies our expungement statute and demonstrates Indiana's continued fight to protect the Second Amendment rights of Indiana residents against the constant onslaught on those rights by the federal government.” 

Attorney General Rokita's Office released the Gun Owners’ Bill of Rights in 2022 to ensure law-abiding Hoosiers fully understand their Second Amendment rights, including the right to purchase and own firearms in cases of expungement.   

A copy of the Opinion is attached.

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