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What are the Gun Laws in Indiana?

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Caution: This summary is meant for general purposes only. Firearm laws frequently change. Refer to the links below to check the current laws.

Quick Reference:
Child Access Prevention Law? Partial
Juvenile Possession Law? Yes.
Juvenile Sale/Transfer Law? Yes

State Requirements

Rifles and Shotguns
  • Permit to purchase rifles and shotguns? No.
  • Registration of rifles and shotguns? No.
  • Licensing of owners of rifles and shotguns? No.
  • Permit to carry rifles and shotguns? No.

Handguns

  • Permit to purchase handgun? No.
  • Registration of handguns? No.
  • Licensing of owners of handguns? No.
  • Permit to carry handguns? Yes.

Purchase:

  • It is generally unlawful to sell or transfer possession of a handgun to a person under 18 except if the gun comes from the juvenile's parent or guardian.

  • It is unlawful for any person to sell or give a firearm to any person whom he has a reasonable cause to believe has been convicted of a felony, a drug abuser or under the influence of a drug, an alcohol abuser or in a state of intoxication, or is mentally incompetent.

  • The regulation of the sale of handguns shall apply equally to the occasional sale, trade, or transfer between individual persons and to retail transactions between dealers and individual persons.
  • A dealer may not sell, rent, trade, or transfer a handgun to a person until the dealer has complied with the Federal regulations requiring a NICS background check.

  • If a buyer or transferee is denied the right to purchase a handgun because of erroneous criminal history information, they may exercise the right of access to and review and correction of criminal history information.

  • Exempt from the instant check are law enforcement officers, holders of an Indiana concealed carry license and transactions between licensed firearms importers, collectors, firearms manufacturers or dealers.

Possession:


No state permit is required for the possession of a rifle, shotgun, or handgun.

It is unlawful for an adult to provide a firearm to a child or for a child to possesses a firearm except while the child is:

  • Attending a hunter safety or firearms safety course and an adult is supervising the child during the course.

  • Target shooting at a range or in an area where the discharge of a firearm is not prohibited or supervised by a qualified firearms instructor or adult while at the range.

  • Engaging in an organized firearm competition or practicing for a performance by an organized group that uses firearms as a part of a performance.
  • Lawfully hunting or trapping with a license.

  • Traveling with an unloaded firearm to or from an activity described in this section.

  • On real property that is under the control of the child’s parent, an adult family member, or legal guardian and has permission from the child's parent or legal guardian to possess a firearm.

  • At the child's residence and has the permission of the child's parent, an adult family member or legal guardian to possess a firearm.
  • It is unlawful to possess a firearm on school property, property used for a school function, or a school bus. This prohibition shall not apply to a person who may legally possesses a firearm and possess the firearm in a motor vehicle while transporting another person to or from school or a school function.

Carrying:


No person shall carry a handgun in any vehicle or on or about his person without a license being in his possession. Exceptions to carrying without a license include:
  • Carrying in one's dwelling, on one's property or fixed place of business.

  • Law enforcement officers and authorized corrections and judicial officers; military personnel while on duty.

  • Regularly enrolled members of any organization authorized to purchase or receive weapons from the U.S. or from Indiana while they are at or going to or from their place of assembly or target practice.

  • Employees of the U.S. duly authorized to carry handguns.
  • Express company employees when engaged in company business.

  • Persons engaged in the firearms business in the usual or ordinary course of that business, or any person while carrying a handgun unloaded and in a secure wrapper from the place of purchase to their home or business, or to and from a place of repair or in moving from one place of abode or business to another.

An application for a license to carry a handgun must be made to the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality where the applicant resides, or to the sheriff of the county where the applicant resides or has a business or employment.

The application contains identifying information on the applicant. The officer to whom the application is made shall conduct an investigation into the applicant's official records and verify his character, reputation, and information contained in the application.

The information together with his recommendation and one set of fingerprints are forwarded to the superintendent. The superintendent may make whatever further investigation he deems necessary.

The superintendent will issue either a qualified or an unlimited license to carry any handgun lawfully possessed by the applicant.


As of August, 2006 proper reasons for a qualified license are hunting and target practice.

The term "proper person" includes a person:

  • Who is 18 and has not been convicted of a crime which carries a sentence in excess of one year.

  • Who is not a drug or alcohol abuser, does not have a reputation or propensity for violence or instability.

  • Who has not made a false statement of material fact on his application.

  • Does not have a conviction for resisting law enforcement or of violating Indiana's weapon laws within five years of the application.

  • Does not have an adjudication as a delinquent child for an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult if the applicant is less that 23.

An arrest for a Class A or Class B felony, or other felony that was committed while armed or involved violence, may be used to deny a license even if there was no conviction, if the court has found probable cause to believe that the person committed the offense.

Every initial application will be granted or rejected within sixty days. Current licenses are valid for four years from the date of Issuance. Indiana also offers lifetime permits.

Miscellaneous

  • Local government, with a few exceptions, may not regulate the ownership, possession, sale, transfer, or transportation of firearms or ammunition.

  • No person shall make any loan secured by a mortgage, deposit, or pledge of a handgun.

  • No person shall change, alter, remove, or obliterate the name of the maker, model, manufacturer's serial number, or other mark of identification on any handgun, or possess such handgun, except as provided by applicable U.S. statute.

  • It is a felony to recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally perform an act creating a substantial risk of bodily injury or to inflict bodily Injury while armed with a deadly weapon.

  • It is unlawful to shoot upon or across a road.

  • Unless designated as a hunting, firearm sport, or archery area, it is unlawful to discharge a firearm inside a park that falls within the jurisdiction of a county board.

  • A person shall not operate an "off road vehicle" or a snowmobile while transporting a firearm, unless unloaded and securely encased or equipped with and made inoperative by a key lock trigger housing mechanism.

  • A student who is in possession of a firearm upon school property must be expelled.

See Also: National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action

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