Indiana bill would make battery on judges felonies, allow judges to carry firearms in manner similar to law enforcement

December 27th, 2013 by Bill Raftery Leave a reply »

A bill prefiled for the 2014 Indiana legislative session would increase penalties for batteries on judges and allow judges to carry firearms in a manner similar to law enforcement.

Under current Indiana law, battery against specified “public safety officials” is automatically elevated from a Class B misdemeanor to a felony in some cases. SB 3 of 2014 (the text of which is at the time of this posting offline)  effective expands “public safety officials” to include “judicial officers”, and then defines the term “judicial officers” to cover judges and magistrates of the state’s courts.

As a result were SB 3 to pass a battery on such a “judicial officer” would be elevated to a Level 6 felony from a Class B misdemeanor, provided the judicial officer was in the performance of his or her official duty at the time of the offense. This is further elevated to a Level 5 felony if the offense results in either bodily injury or the offender uses infected bodily fluids or wastes.

On the subject of firearms, SB 3 would add a new section in law to effectively expand firearms possession for a judicial officer in a manner similar to that of law enforcement.

Sec. 1. A judicial officer:

(1) may possess and use a firearm in the same locations that a law enforcement officer who is authorized to carry a firearm under IC 5-2-1 may possess a firearm while the law enforcement officer is engaged in the execution of the law enforcement officer’s official duties; and

(2) may not be prohibited from possessing a firearm on land or in buildings and other structures owned or leased by:

(a) the state or any agency of state government; or

(b) a political subdivision (as defined in IC 3-5-2-38).

Sec. 2. A judicial officer who possesses a firearm as described in section 1 of this chapter has the same civil and criminal immunities and defenses concerning possession and use of the firearm that a law enforcement officer has when the law enforcement officer:

(1) possesses and uses a firearm; and

(2) is engaged in the execution of the law enforcement officer’s official duties.

3 comments

  1. Andrew D. Jackson says:

    One would hope that if this bill is enacted into law, another bill is enacted to provide adequate training for these judicial officers to avoid accidents and other misfortunes.