Indiana Gun Law Summary

  Rifles and
Shotguns Handguns

Permit to Purchase No No
Registration of Firearms No No
Licensing of Owners No No
Permit to Carry No Yes

STATE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION
“The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense 
of themselves and the State.” Article 1 Section 32. 

PURCHASE 
It is generally unlawful to sell or otherwise 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, or is a drug abuser or under 
the influence of a drug, or is 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, the buyer or transferee 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.  In some

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 an established 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 
regular place of business or employment.  The application 
contains identifying information on the applicant such 
as: name, address, length of residence in the community, 
occupation, age, race, nationality, any criminal record, 
height and weight, and reason for desiring a license. 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 Indiana State Police Superintendent. The 
superintendent may make whatever further investigation 
he deems necessary. If it appears to the superintendent 
that the applicant has a proper reason for carrying a 
handgun and is of good character and reputation and a 
“proper person” to be so licensed, he shall issue either a 
qualified or an unlimited license to carry any handgun 
lawfully possessed by the applicant.  
Licenses to carry handguns shall be either qualified 
or unlimited and are valid for 4 years or for the lifetime 
of the individual receiving the license. Proper reasons 
for a qualified license are hunting and target practice. 
Unlimited licenses shall be issued for the purpose of 
protection of life and property. The superintendent may 
adopt rules imposing limitations on the use and carrying 
of handguns by a license holder who carries a handgun as 
a condition of his employment.
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 1 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 5 years of the application; and 
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.  
Reputation and propensity may be established without 
necessarily showing a violation of the law resulting in a 
conviction.  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 by the Indiana State Police 
Superintendent. Renewal of an existing license may 
be filed 365 days before the expiration of the existing 
license.  An application for renewal filed within thirty 
days of expiration automatically extends the existing 
license until the application for renewal has been decided. 
If an application for a license to carry has been denied, 
a request for a hearing before the superintendent may 
be made. Should the denial be upheld at the hearing, an 
appeal may be taken to the circuit court. 
The application fees consist of separate local and 
state fees.  The fees for a four-year unlimited (Personal 
Protection) license is $10 local and $30 state. The fee 
for a four-year qualified (Hunting and Target) license for 
hunting and target practice is $10 local and $5 state. A 
person applying for a lifetime Personal Protection license 
who does not currently possess a valid license, a $50 local 
and a $75 state fee is required, $30 of which shall be 
refunded if the license is not issued.  A person applying 
for a lifetime Personal Protection license who currently 
possesses a valid license, a $40 local and $60 state fee is 
required, $30 of which shall be refunded if the license is 
not issued. The lifetime Hunting and Target license fees 
are $50 local and $25 state if the applicant does not have 
a current valid license.  With a current valid license, the 
fees are $40 local and $20 state for the lifetime Hunting 
and Target license.  Honorably retired state and U.S. law 
enforcement officers with an equivalent 20 years of service 
or those retired with a disability pay no fees.
The superintendent shall have the authority 
to suspend at any time any license issued upon having 
reasonable grounds to believe that the person’s license 
should be suspended or revoked. 
Licenses to carry handguns, issued by other states 
or foreign countries, will be recognized according to the 
terms thereof but only while the holders are not residents 
of Indiana. 
With the exceptions of limitations on carrying during 
game seasons, state law is silent on the issue of carrying
rifles and shotguns.
Prohibits a person, including an individual, 
corporation, and a government entity, from adopting 
or enforcing a rule that prohibits an employee of the 
person from legally possessing a firearm or ammunition 
that is locked in the trunk of an employee’s vehicle while 
the person’s vehicle is on the person’s property, unless 
the firearm or ammunition requires a federal license to 
possess. 

ANTIQUES AND REPLICAS 
The chapter of Indiana’s code concerning regulation 
of handguns does not apply to any firearm not designed to 
use fixed cartridges or fixed ammunition, or any firearm 
made in or before 1899. Inoperable handguns cannot be 
carried as they meet the definition of a handgun.

MACHINE GUNS AND SAWED-OFF SHOTGUNS 
The following persons may possess machine guns: 
members of the armed forces, approved government 
agencies and law enforcement while on duty; machine 
guns kept as relics for display that are harmless and 
unusable; persons possessing or having applied to possess 
machine guns under applicable U.S. statutes as long as 
said machine guns are transferred in compliance with 
Indiana law; and persons engaged in a business that 
involves machine guns while or when acting within the 
scope of and in furtherance of such business.
It is unlawful to manufacture, import, sell, give, lend, 
or possess a sawed-off shotgun. This does not apply to 
law enforcement officers acting in their official duties 
or persons, who manufacture, import, or sell sawed-off 
shotguns to law enforcement agencies.  

MISCELLANEOUS 
Local government, with a few exceptions, may not 
regulate the ownership, possession, sale, transfer, or transportation of firearms or ammunition.
Information submitted by a person to obtain or renew 
a license to carry a handgun is to be confidential, may not 
be published, and is not open to public inspection unless the federal, state, or local government entity is in the 
course of investigation concerning a person who applied 
to obtain or renew their license to carry a handgun. 
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 
United States 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 a felony to haze another person while armed 
with a deadly weapon. It is a felony to riot while armed 
with a deadly weapon.
It is unlawful to possess, transfer or manufacture 
handgun ammunition “that has a metal core and an outer 
coating of plastic.” This does not apply to nylon-coated 
ammunition, plastic shot capsules, or ammunition designed to be used in rifles or shotguns. Law enforcement 
officers acting in the course of their official duties or persons who manufacture, import, or sell such ammunition 
to law enforcement agencies are excepted. 
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.
Subject to certain narrow exceptions, no person may 
bring an action against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer, trade association or seller for recovery of damages, injunctive relief or abatement of nuisance relating 
to the lawful design, manufacture, marketing or sale of a 
firearm or ammunition, or for recovery of damages resulting from the criminal or unlawful misuse of a firearm or 
ammunition by a third party.

SOURCES: IC 10-14-3-12; 14- 22- 6-9; 14-22-6-10; 14-16-1- 23; 20-8.1-
5.1- 10; 34-12-3-3; 35 42-2-1; 35-45-1.2; 35-47-1; 35- 47-2; 35- 47-3; 
35- 47-4; 35- 47-5; 35- 47-6; 35- 47-7; 35- 47-8; 35- 47-9; 35- 47-10; 35- 
47-11; 36-10-3-39
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