Gun laws in Indiana
|Subject/Law||Long guns||Handguns||Relevant Statutes||Notes|
|State permit required to purchase?||No||No||None|
|Assault weapon law?||No||No||None|
|Magazine capacity restriction?||No||No||None|
|Owner license required?||No||No||None|
|License required for concealed carry?||N/A||Yes||IC 35-47-2-3||Shall-Issue. Officially "License to Carry Handgun", which covers concealed and open carry.
As of July 1, 2017, persons who a) are at least 18 years old, b) are protected by a protection order, c) have applied for a license, and d) are not prohibited from possessing a handgun may carry a handgun without a license for 60 days from the date of the protection order being issued.
|License required for open carry?||Yes||Yes||IC 35-47-2-3||May carry openly with license.
On May 9, 2017, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that detaining an individual based solely upon their possession of a handgun (in order to verify that they are licensed) violates the Fourth Amendment absent any other reasonable articulable suspicion of a crime being committed.
|Vehicle carry?||Yes||Yes||IC 35-47-2-3||May carry in a vehicle with license.|
|State preemption of local restrictions?||Yes||Yes||IC 35-47-11.1-2||Enacted in 2011|
|NFA weapons restricted?||No||No||IC 35-47-5-10||Federal laws observed.|
|Shall certify?||Yes||Yes||Shall certify within 15 days.|
|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.|
|Background checks required for private sales?||No||No||None|
|Red flag law?||Yes||Yes||IC 35-47-14-6(b)||The police may temporarily confiscate firearms from people who are threatening to harm themselves or others, and then get a court order afterwards.|
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.)
Indiana requires a license for carrying a handgun generally, although there are several exceptions. Manner of carry, whether open or concealed, is not explicitly specified in the code, thus the license is required for concealed, open, or transport within vehicle, unless covered by one of the exceptions. A license is not required if carrying on property "owned, rented, leased, or otherwise legally controlled" by the carrier, or carried on another person's legally controlled property if permission has been obtained. A license is not required for carrying at a "gun show, firearm expo, gun owner's club or convention, hunting club, shooting club, or training course", or places where carrier is receiving "firearm related services." A license is also not required at a "shooting range", at a location where one is participating in a "firearms instructional course", or during "legal hunting activity." One may transport a handgun in a vehicle without a license if the handgun is "unloaded", "not readily accessible", and "secured in a case." A violation of is a class A misdemeanor. 
Indiana handgun license allows carrier to carry virtually anywhere at anytime except for the following exceptions: In or on school property (locked in a vehicle is OK), on a school bus, in or on property that is being used by a school for a school function, private school, head start, preschool programs, on commercial or charter aircraft, controlled access areas of an airport, on the premises of the annual Indiana State Fair, shipping ports controlled by Indiana Port Commission, riverboat casinos, or any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law. Prohibitions by businesses are not enforced under the color of law, although management may eject a person for carrying.
Indiana is a "shall issue" state for the License To Carry a Handgun. 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 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 within a certain time frame 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, minus Active Duty Military who become stationed in Indiana. Active Duty military stationed in Indiana can apply for lifetime permits through their local city or county police department.
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.
It is illegal for anyone, except for law enforcement officers and authorized school resource officers, to possess a firearm on school property (K-12 and day care) or on a school bus, except that lawful gun owners may have guns in their vehicles on school property provided that the gun is stored out of plain sight in the person's locked motor vehicle or that the driver is only transporting someone to, or from, a school event. It is also illegal to carry a firearm on a commercial airplane or in the controlled section of an airport, on a riverboat gambling cruise, at the Indiana State Fair, courthouses and the Indiana Statehouse and Government Center. Carrying 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 is restricted according to CFR Title 36, Chapter 111, Part 327.
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. Furthermore, an employer may not ask any employee about the possession of firearms and/or ammunition.
Ownership and purchase
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.
All 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. An Illinois Firearms Owners Identification (FOID) card allows Illinois residents to purchase and possess firearms and ammunition. The FOID is not a permit to carry a handgun, therefore it is not honored as such by Indiana, but the Illinois license to carry a concealed firearm, first issued in February 2014, is honored like that of any other state.
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, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Firearm (Handgun) License Statistics
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 December 31, 2015, there were 661,334 active licenses to carry firearms issued by Indiana, with 23.8% being issued to females. In 2015, 5.4% of all applicants were rejected for various reasons, 15.5% of rejected applicants being female.
Loss of Firearm Rights
Both Indiana and Federal laws restrict purchase and possession under certain circumstances. Federal law prohibits possession of firearms for life by those convicted of felonies and for those convicted of misdemeanors involving domestic violence. Indiana law prohibits as follows:
- IC 35-47-2-1 prohibits carrying handguns or possession within dwelling by those convicted of domestic battery.
- IC 35-47-4-6 states that it is a Class A misdemeanor for a person convicted of domestic battery to possess a firearm.
- IC 35-47-2-7 prohibits transfer or sale of firearms to any person with a felony conviction.
- IC 35-47-4-5 prohibits possession of firearms for convictions of "serious violent felonies".
While Indiana law mirrors federal law for the most part, it does not ban those with non-violent felonies from possession of firearms. Therefore, a person with a non-violent felony in Indiana would be allowed to possess a firearm under Indiana law, but because federal law prohibits possession in this instance, that person would be unable to purchase a firearm since purchasing a firearm is subject to federal law and a NICS background check.
Restoration of Firearm Rights
Because firearm rights are governed by state and federal law, whether someone can restore those rights can be a tricky question even for an attorney to answer. In some circumstances a person might be able to restore their Indiana rights while not fully restoring their federal rights.
For those barred from possession because of a conviction for domestic battery, Indiana Code § 35-47-4-7 allows one to petition the court for restoration of the right after 5 years from the date of conviction.
Restoration of rights for those convicted of felonies is usually barred by federal law. This arises because federal law does not recognize expungements as restoring firearm rights if the expungement does not fully satisfy federal law by fully sealing the conviction so that it cannot be used in subsequent proceedings. Therefore, while an Indiana expungement restores civil rights (except for domestic battery, which requires a separate petition), it does not restore one's federal rights. The only exception is for non-violent Class D felony convictions. Because Indiana law allows those with non-violent Class D felony convictions to petition the court to reduce the felony to a Class A misdemeanor, unless a person was barred by other convictions, a successful reduction will restore a person's rights under federal and state law.
In Indiana, the police may temporarily confiscate firearms from people who are threatening to harm themselves or others. No warrant or judge's signature is necessary. The police must submit a written statement describing why the person whose guns were seized is considered dangerous, and the person can respond at a hearing. Within 14 days a judge must agree that probable cause exists, or the person's guns must be returned.
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.
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 and may be used for hunting.
- NRA-ILA. "NRA-ILA | Indiana: 2017 Legislative Session Adjourns". NRA-ILA. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
- "Gun Guy: Police May Not Detain Armed Hoosiers to Check for Handgun License | 93.1 WIBC". 93.1 WIBC. Retrieved 2017-05-12.
- "Does Indiana law require me to carry my handgun on my person in a concealed or exposed manner?", Frequently Asked Questions, IN.gov. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
- NRA-ILA. "NRA-ILA Indiana: Governor Pence Signs Pro-Gun Bill". NRA-ILA. Retrieved 2016-03-27.
- "IC 35-47-2".
- "Gun laws in Indiana" (PDF).
- "IC 35–47–2–3 – Application for license to carry handgun; procedure". In.gov. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
- "IC 35–47–9 – Possession of Firearms on School Property and School Buses". In.gov. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
- "IC 35–47–6 – Weapons on Aircraft". In.gov. Retrieved March 16, 2012.
- "US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS" (PDF). Retrieved May 25, 2017.
- "Possession of Firearms and Ammunition in Locked Vehicles". In.gov. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
- "Disclosure of Firearm or Ammunition Information as a Condition of Employment". In.gov. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
- "Indiana State Police: Firearm FAQ" (PDF). IN.gov. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- "National Rifle Association: Indiana: State Gun Laws: Reciprocity". NRA. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- "Indiana State Police: Firearms Licensing Statistics 2015" (PDF). IN.gov. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
- "Restoring Firearm Rights in Indiana".
- "Restoring Firearm Rights in Indiana".
- Hussein, Fatima; Martin, Ryan (February 22, 2018). "Indiana's 'Red Flag' Gun Law Is Getting National Attention. But Does It Work?". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
- Covington, Olivia (February 22, 2018). "Hill Meets Trump on Gun Reform, Points Out Indiana 'Red Flag Law'". The Indiana Lawyer. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
- Leblanc, Matthew (March 4, 2018). "Local Agencies Hail 'Red Flag' Law". The Journal Gazette. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
- Carden, Dan; Cross, Lauren (March 14, 2018). "Law Letting Officers Take Guns from Dangerous Individuals in Indiana Could Become National Model". Purdue Exponent. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
- Kivisto, Aaron J.; Phalen, Peter Lee (2018-08-01). "Effects of Risk-Based Firearm Seizure Laws in Connecticut and Indiana on Suicide Rates, 1981-2015". Psychiatric Services (Washington, D.C.). 69 (8): 855–862. doi:10.1176/appi.ps.201700250. ISSN 1557-9700. PMID 29852823.
- "IC 34-12-3: Legal Actions Involving Firearms and Ammunition". In.gov. 2001-04-18. Retrieved March 16, 2012.