Gun laws in Indiana

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Location of Indiana in the United States

Gun laws in Indiana regulate the sale, possession, and use of firearms and ammunition in the state of Indiana in the United States.


Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant Statutes Notes
State Permit to carry a gun No Yes IC 35-47-2-3 Shall-Issue. Officially "License to Carry Handgun"
Firearm registration? No No None
"Assault weapon" law? No No None
Magazine Capacity Restriction? No No None
Owner license required? No No None
Concealed Carry license issued? No Yes IC 35-47-2-3 Shall-Issue. Officially "License to Carry Handgun"
Open Carry? Yes Yes IC 35-47-2-3 May carry openly with license. Those who choose to open carry are often confronted or accosted by police forces.[1] The legality of this police practice is hotly disputed.[2]
State Preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes IC 35-47-11.1-2 Enacted in 2011
NFA weapons restricted? Yes No IC 35-47-5-10 Federal laws observed, with the exception that short barreled shotguns are not permitted.
Peaceable Journey laws? No No None Federal rules observed.
Castle Doctrine law? Yes Yes IC 35-41-3-2 No duty to retreat from dwelling, curtilage, or occupied motor vehicle.
Duty to inform? No No IC 35-47-2-24 Indiana law does not require one to disclose possession of a firearm on contact with Law Enforcement.

State preemption[edit]

Local laws regulating the possession and ownership of ammunition, firearms and shooting accessories are prohibited per IC 35–47–11.1–2, subject to the exemptions listed in IC 35–47–11.1–4. (New provisions effective 2011 Jul 01.)

Carrying handguns[edit]

Indiana requires a license for most methods of carrying a handgun. Indiana laws are silent concerning the manner of carry therefore laws cover open carry, concealed carry, vehicle carry and locked case carry. There are exceptions for carrying a handgun unloaded, not readily accessible, and secured in a case in a vehicle, on your own property, from place of purchase and to a firearm range for the purpose of practice.[3]

Indiana is a "shall issue" state for the License To Carry a Handgun.[4] A license to carry will be issued to individuals age 18 or older who meet a number of legal requirements. Currently both limited term and unlimited lifetime licenses are available.

Grounds for disqualification include a conviction for a felony or for misdemeanor's domestic battery. A license can also be denied if the applicant has been arrested for a violent crime and "a court has found probable cause to believe that the person committed the offense charged". Documented substance abuse is a disqualifier, as is documented evidence of any given person's "propensity for violent or emotionally unstable conduct."

Indiana residents, or non-residents with a "regular place of business" in Indiana, must obtain an Indiana license. Application for a license must be made to the local police department, or absent that, to the county police department. Four-year and lifetime permits are issued for Indiana residents. Out-of-state residents may only be issued four-year permits.

Indiana honors handgun carry licenses issued by every state for only residents of that state. However, reciprocity is always in flux. E.g., Indiana recognizes Ohio permits, but Ohio does not reciprocate.

Indiana law stands mute vis-à-vis long gun carry. There are some Department of Natural Resources (DNR) rules, but these only apply on DNR properties or to hunters. Generally speaking, possession of long guns is legal whether the gun is either on one's person or in one's motor vehicle, loaded or not, concealed or not. There are additional rules regarding firearms possession on ATVs and snowmobiles.

Restricted locations[edit]

It is illegal to carry a concealed weapon, even sporting arms, on school property (K-12 and day care) or on a school bus,[5] Lawful gun owners may have guns in their vehicles on school property provided the driver is only transporting someone to, or from, a school event. It is also illegal to carry on a commercial airplane or in the controlled section of an airport,[6] on a riverboat gambling cruise, at the Indiana State Fair, courthouses and the Indiana Statehouse and Government Center. It is also illegal to carry on Army Corps of Engineers property which include Brookville Lake, Cagles Mill Lake, Cecil M. Harden Lake, J. Edward Roush Lake, Mississinewa Lake, Monroe Lake, Patoka Lake, and Salamonie Lake.[7]

Private businesses may restrict or forbid firearms on their properties. However, a 2010 law prohibits employers from discharging employees for in-vehicle firearms possession on business property.[8] Furthermore, an employer may not ask any employee about the possession of firearms and/or ammunition.[9]

Ownership and purchase[edit]

Firearms dealers or private individuals may not sell any firearm to someone less than 18 years old, or less than 23 years old if the buyer was "adjudicated a delinquent child for an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult", or to a person who is mentally incompetent or is a drug or alcohol abuser.

Short barreled shotguns (barrel length less than 18 inches or overall length less than 26 inches) are prohibited to the general citizenry (some exceptions apply). Possession of automatic weapons by individuals or dealers who have obtained the appropriate federal license is permitted. It appears that all other NFA-regulated weapons and devices are legal in Indiana.


Indiana honors all other states handgun licenses, though not all other states honor Indiana’s license. Because there is no obligation for one state to notify another state of any change in their gun laws the Indiana State Police does not attempt to track this information. A Firearms Owners Identification (FOID) card is issued by Illinois and relates to the purchasing of firearms. The FOID is not a permit to carry a handgun therefore it is not honored as such by Indiana,[10] but the new Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry License [11] should be honored, once issue starts early in 2014.

The following states have established arrangements where they recognize or honor permits or licenses issued by the State of Indiana: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, Wyoming[12]

Firearm (Handgun) License Statistics[edit]

In January 2013, the Indiana State Police Firearms Section began publishing quarterly reports that show the number of active handgun licenses held by Indiana residents. As of the third quarter of 2013, over 1.4 million Indiana residents possess a handgun license, with about 20 percent of license holders being female.[13]

Other laws[edit]

Cartridges that "can be fired in a handgun" that have "a projectile that has a metal core and an outer coating of plastic" are prohibited. "This section does not apply to nylon coated ammunition, plastic shot capsules, or ammunition designed to be used in rifles or shotguns."

Indiana provides lawsuit protection to law abiding manufacturers, sellers, and trade associations for the misuse of firearms by third parties. Lawsuits are permitted for cases of damage or injury caused by defective firearms or ammunition, or breach of contract or warranty.[14]

Indiana's law about self-defense (and the defense of others) can be found at Indiana Code, Title 35, Article 41, Chapter 3–2.

Suppressors are legal in the state of Indiana with the correct provisions and tax stamps to the correct federal entities.

The information in this article is either directly stated (or inferred) from Indiana Code, Title 35, Article 47, Chapters 1–14, Title 34, Article 28, Chapter 7 and Title 34, Article 12, Chapter 3.