Morgan County Sheriff Department
Firearm Safety, Handling, and Concealed Carry
Not everything is "Indiana Code"..... It is Good Common Sense, and experiences (good and bad)!!! It is the "so called" accidents that leave you asking why? Why the safety was not on or used, why was a loaded gun left out, why they did not have some formal training, why would you take a gun out after drinking, why would some one shoot in a direction with out a good back stop... some rifles will shoot 3 miles or more, why would some one take a stupid chance with a deadly weapon?
*** Gun Locks may be picked up FREE of charge at the Morgan Co. Sheriff Dept. between 8 am and 4 pm M-F ***
There are a few simple but important rules to keep in mind when handling a firearm. If you adhere to these rules, the chances of an accidental shooting are
1. Never point a gun at anything you are not willing to kill/destroy.
2. Assume the gun is ALWAYS loaded. You would not believe the number of people killed with "unloaded" firearms.
3. Keep your finger away from the trigger (outside of the trigger-guard), and the safety (if your gun is equipped with one) in the "Safe" position until you are ready to fire.
4. Always maintain control of your weapon. When in your possession, it should always be pointed in a safe direction. At an angle towards the ground is best.
5. When in storage, it should be under lock and key, and separated from the ammunition. There is nothing worse than having your weapon fall into the wrong hands (inexperienced, immature, or criminal). Trigger locks and gun-safes go a long way towards preventing unauthorized use of your weapon. Make certain that firearms in the home are not casually accessible to anyone --- especially a child.
6. Your gun should always be unloaded and stored properly/securely during transportation.
7. Read the instruction manual for your particular firearm. Different types of guns function differently, and you need to know exactly how to operate the one you will be using. Pay particular attention to the manufacturers' safety features (locks, safeties, etc.)
8. Never handle your firearm while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
9. Always know what is behind/beyond your target. Misses and over-penetration happen. You may hit an unintended target as far away as 3 miles with an ordinary hunting rifle.
Safe Storage Video
Your most important responsibility is ensuring that children cannot encounter loaded firearms. The precautions you take must be effective. Anything less invites tragedy and is a serious violation of your responsibility as a firearm owner. You are responsible for making certain the firearms in your home are not casually accessible to anyone — especially children.
IC 35-47-10 Children and Firearms
"Loaded" Defined Sec. 4. As used in this chapter, "loaded" means having any of the following: (1) A cartridge in the chamber or cylinder of a firearm. (2) Ammunition in close proximity to a firearm so that a person can readily place the ammunition in the firearm. As added by P.L.140-1994, SEC.12. Amended by P.L.203-1996, SEC.3.
A message to kids about Firearms Responsibility.
1. Don’t go looking for firearms, in your house or a friend’s house. Don’t let other kids look for firearms in your house.
2. If you find a firearm in your house — or anywhere else — leave it alone. Don’t touch it! Don’t let anyone else touch it! Tell an adult.
3. Even if a firearm looks like a toy — don’t touch it! Some real firearms look like toys. Don’t take a chance. Tell an adult.
Be on your best behavior at all times. Don't get into situations that could escalate to something much worse. If you can't avoid it, do your best to deescalate the situation and get yourself out of it. Your pride will recover. Road rage, disagreements at work, some jerk name calling.... in any fight you find yourself getting into, there could be at least one gun or knife present. Whatever it's about, it isn't worth it.
Concealed Carry vs Open Carry (The Great Debate!)
In "my opinion" a concealed carry is or should be a secret. Keep it that way. Don't tell every living soul you meet that you carry a gun, have it hanging out of your hip pocket, or even hanging in an open holster on your belt. Some people might be put off, or even
alarmed. Yes, you may have a permit, but that does not prevent some alarmed citizen from calling the police, and the embarrassment of several squad cars pulling into the bank lot or restaurant to check you out (maybe at gun point) because you have a gun hanging out in view, and don't be shocked if they seam less than happy about the situation! You also may not be very welcome back at that bank or restaurant again. Even police officers are told that when off duty they give up a distinct tactical advantage if everyone around knows they have a
weapon. In a hold up, you may even find friends or family urging you to "Do
something... You have a gun... Use it!" That could make you a person of interest to
the aforementioned gunman, and that's not the kind of attention you want.
In Indiana you may carry concealed or open, just keep in mind.... that because the law allows it, or you have a right to open carry does not always make it the proper thing to do? You also have a right to freedom of speech, does this mean you would wear a shirt in McDonalds or church with "the" four letter word on it? Most of us, would NOT consider this proper, or considerate.
Your concealed handgun has only one purpose as far as the law is concerned; to give a means of defense if you or a loved one is facing imminent death or serious bodily injury. You must, and will answer for your actions under any circumstance in which your gun is employed. The bad guy may not have much to lose, you do!
Never consume alcohol when carrying your firearm. In some states it is illegal to take even one drink while carrying a firearm.
In most states it is illegal to carrying a loaded firearm on School Property, Casinos, State Fair Grounds, On A School Bus, State Parks and National Forests, Police Stations, Sheriff's Departments / Jails, Courthouse and Courtrooms, US Post Office, College or Universities, Day Care Centers, Churches, State Capitol Building, Federal Building, Aircraft, Airports, Bars / Taverns.... Legal or not, I would highly discourage it!
Other tidbits of information... I highly recommend that you NOT enter a place that is posted "No Firearms" no matter what the state law reads! Leave it in the car (locked in the trunk), taking it in is not worth the possible problems it may cause you!!! We should honor the rights of property owners to control their own property even if we disagree with them. Retail establishments with "No Guns / No Handguns Allowed" Posted at Entry.... As a possessor with a real property interest, a retailer, has the right to limit, and qualify the right to enter the property, subject to not carrying a handgun. It would be improper to enter, and the Licensee would be subject to ejection for possession of a handgun. Failure to leave once requested, would subject the Licensee to arrest for criminal trespass. Yes, I know about the First Regular Session 117th General Assembly (2011), but don't push your luck, You may find your self in jail anyway! (Right or Wrong!) The property owner may have reasons that we may not know about for stating "No Guns". In some cases they may not care about what they don't know... meaning they really don't care about your "concealed" carry, but "open" carry make their customers nervous. Yes, you have a right to, not to do business with some one that does not allow guns, and they have calculated that into their decision.
Train Your Family
If you carry a concealed weapon, Train Your Family.
Before you carry concealed in the presence of family, train them how to respond in two specific situations. The first situation is for circumstances when you decide to move your family away from a threat. The goal in this instance is NOT to engage a threat but to escape to a safe location.
Keeping with the “Coaching Forward” theory of only using simple, positive commands, train your family members to “Follow Me!” Drill them at home to obey this command instantly, following behind you with any small children physically holding hands to avoid leaving one behind. You will lead the way to safety, moving steadily at a speed even the smallest can manage. Escape is by far your best option and deadly force may only be appropriate if the threat comes directly to you.
The second family scenario is one where you have chosen to engage a threat to protect your family from death or serious bodily injury. In this instance, you may quickly become a bullet magnet, so your family must be elsewhere. For this second scenario I use the term “Call it In!” When you issue the “Call it In” command the family members is to move away to safety and call 911, reporting the circumstances, the fact that you are involved, you have a gun, and your description. If your significant other or oldest child is capable they can assume command of the family’s escape, issuing their own “Follow Me” order to the rest of the family.
You can not carry a loaded firearm in any vehicle without a Permit/License.
Interstate Transportation of Firearms, Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver's compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console. Yes, I know there are some new "Indiana" laws.... Check other states before going!
NOTE: Under IC 35-41-1-8 "Deadly Weapon" Defined Sec. 8. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), "deadly weapon" means the following:
(1) A loaded or unloaded "Firearm".
What is considered a "Firearm" you ask?
Under IC 35-47-1-5 "Firearm" Sec. 5. "Firearm" means any weapon: (1) that is: (A) capable of expelling; or (B) designed to expel; or (2) that may readily be converted to expel; a projectile by means of an explosion. = Yep, that means hand gun, rifle, shot gun, muzzle loader!
Check before going out of state..... Illinois and Ohio does NOT honor Indiana's permit. (Illinois is Not a gun friendly state for anyone!) As of this posting Kentucky does honor Indiana's permit as well as Tennessee, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming, but their rules on carry may be different than Indiana. These can and do change!
The bottom line is, Existing Indiana laws allow residents of the state to use a firearm or other
deadly weapon to protect themselves or someone else from serious bodily injury. Indiana has now added "those residents do not have a duty to retreat prior to using deadly force" (in matters of self-defense). Remember if you pull your gun.... there "will be" an investigation! Also keep in mind in the American court system, life is normally given priority over
property. This is why, in Indiana like most states, you cannot shoot a thief running away with your
property. To shoot a person
who has just robbed you and is running away, the immediate threat
to your person has passed, you would no longer be protecting yourself. Immediate, means "at this very second." There
is nothing more dangerous to you than *NOT*
understanding what is meant by "immediate". This idea cuts through *all* emotions,
fears, thoughts and suspicions and defines when you are - in the eyes of the law
- justified to use lethal force. If he isn't trying to kill you right now, you aren't justified to use
It doesn't matter if he is standing there screaming and threatening you, or if has said that he is going to come back and get you or has just pointed a gun at you and demanded your wallet and is now running away - those are not considered "immediate threat of death or grave bodily injury." Because he isn't trying to kill you at that exact moment.
Not understanding the meaning of this term can put you in prison for murder. At the very least it will endanger everything you own to litigation....and, odds are, you will lose if you pulled the trigger at the wrong time.
In theory, someone standing across the room waving a knife threatening to kill you isn't offering you an immediate threat. Which means that you cannot legally shoot him. On the other hand, when he starts charging across the room, then you are in immediate and immanent danger of death or bodily harm. The reason being is that a knife is a close range weapon and by rushing at you, he is now capable of harming you. Granted his brandishing the weapon in a threatening manner is in and of itself a crime, but not enough to warrant shooting and killing him.
You have to make a serious decision and decide if you are
willing to use lethal force to protect yourself if your life is on the
line. Not threaten to use,
or "can't I just scare him away by waving it around?" is not an acceptable answer.
And if you choose yes, then you are accepting the responsibility that you will be acting with dedication and commitment to take another human life. If you ever do that, you will have to live with the repercussions and guilt for the rest of your life. And that is not easy. Therefore a 'yes' answer must be a rational, calculated decision to take responsibility.
Webster’s Dictionary defines Moral
as “relating to principles of right and wrong.” and it
defines Ethical as “conforming to an accepted standard of conduct.”
In other words, morals are what is right or wrong for you as an individual, and ethics are what is considered right or wrong by the collective group of people with whom you interact. On issues involving the Use of Deadly Force, like any of our actions, we have laws to guide us, but ultimately the "standard of conduct" is set by the courts and juries through their decisions in criminal and civil trials.
NOTE: #1 The content of this Webpage is for general information purposes only and does not constitute advice, legal or otherwise, nor should it be construed as such. It is designed to acquaint you with a few of the more important factors that are involved in the subject, use of deadly force. We try to provide content that is true and accurate as of the date of writing; however, we give no assurance or warranty regarding the accuracy, timeliness, or applicability of any of the contents. Visitors to the Website should not act upon the Website content or information without first seeking appropriate back up information or professional advice from an attorney. Ignorance of the law - especially when it comes to using lethal force - is not a defense!
NOTE #2 The views, comments, and opinions may not reflect the views and opinions of the Morgan Co. Sheriff Dept, and they assume no responsibility for information contained on this web page, and disclaims all liability in respect of such information.