Probation Prohibition on Possession of Firearms Constitutional

Wilder maintains that the condition of probation that prohibits him from possessing firearms during his probation period violates his right to bear arms, as protected by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 32 of the Indiana Constitution. Probation is a criminal sanction wherein a convicted defendant specifically agrees to accept  conditions upon his behavior in lieu of imprisonment . . .

Purpose to Be Served by Probation Condition

The crime Wilder committed—battery resulting in bodily injury—was, by definition, a crime of violence. I.C. § 35-42-2-1(d)(1). The probation condition at issue here is meant to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of those who have shown a propensity for violence, and that is a legitimate and important government purpose . . . The fact that Wilder’s violent crime did not involve use of a firearm is not dispositive; it is the propensity of the probationer toward violence that is relevant to the need to prohibit possession of dangerous weapons such as firearms.  The legitimate and important purpose of the probation condition prohibiting possession of firearms, as applied to Wilder, is to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of a probationer whose underlying crime has shown he has a propensity toward violence resulting in harm to others.

Read the full opinion here.

Randall Parr is an attorney in Indianapolis.  If you have been charged with a gun offense, contact him immediately.