Ammunition Regulation in Indiana

Indiana generally prohibits people from knowingly or intentionally manufacturing, possessing, transferring or offering to transfer armor-piercing ammunition, as defined.1 Note that the federal prohibitions on certain kinds of armor-piercing ammunition also apply.

Indiana does not:

  • Require a license for the sale of ammunition;
  • Require sellers of ammunition to maintain a record of the purchasers;
  • Require a license to purchase or possess ammunition; or
  • Impose a minimum age for the purchase or possession of ammunition.

See our Ammunition Regulation policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-5-11.5. ⤴︎

Background Checks in Indiana

Federal law requires federally licensed firearms dealers (but not private sellers) to initiate a background check on the purchaser prior to sale of a firearm. Federal law provides states with the option of serving as a state “point of contact” and conducting their own background checks using state, as well as federal, records and databases, or having the checks performed by the FBI using only the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database. (Note that state files are not always included in the federal database.)

Indiana is not a point of contact state for the NICS. Indiana law explicitly requires dealers to conduct a background check prior to transferring a handgun, by contacting the FBI directly.1 Although Indiana has no law explicitly requiring firearms dealers to initiate a background check prior to transferring a long gun, the federal law requires dealers to initiate a background check prior to the transfer of any kind of gun by contacting the FBI directly.2

See our Background Checks policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Indiana does not require private sellers (sellers who are not licensed dealers) to initiate a background check when transferring a firearm. See our Private Sales policy summary.

Notes
  1. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2.5-4(a). ⤴︎
  2. Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Instant Criminal Background Check System Participation Map, at https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/nics-participation-map.pdf/view. ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Indiana

Indiana provides that a child’s parent or legal guardian commits the crime of “dangerous control of a child” if he or she knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly permits the child (defined as a person under age 18;1 ) to possess a firearm, either:

  • While aware of a substantial risk that the child will use the firearm to commit a felony; and
  • While failing to make reasonable efforts to prevent the use of a firearm by the child to commit a felony; or
  • When the child has been convicted of a crime of violence or has been adjudicated as a juvenile for an offense that would constitute a crime of violence if the child were an adult;2

In addition, an adult who knowingly or intentionally provides a firearm to a child for any purpose other than those specified3 commits “dangerous control of a firearm,” a Class C felony.4

A child who knowingly or intentionally provides a firearm to another child with or without remuneration for any purpose other than those described in section 35-47-10-1, with or without remuneration, commits “dangerous possession of a firearm,” a Class A misdemeanor.5

Firearms in youth camps must be locked in cabinets or buildings.6 Caregivers in child care homes must keep all ammunition and firearms in a locked area inaccessible to children whenever children are present.7 Providers at certain child care facilities must ensure that firearms and ammunition are secured in a locked area, by key or combination, where children cannot gain access.8 A provider of child care services is ineligible to receive voucher payments if it operates a facility where firearms, ammunition, or other weapons are stored in a place that is accessible to children.9

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. See Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-10-3. ⤴︎
  2. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-10-7. ⤴︎
  3. See the exceptions to the child possession and transfer restrictions at Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-10-1. ⤴︎
  4. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-10-6. ⤴︎
  5. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-10-5(b). ⤴︎
  6. 410 Ind. Admin. Code 6-7.2-21(g). ⤴︎
  7. 470 Ind. Admin. Code 3-1.1-48(e). ⤴︎
  8. 470 Ind. Admin. Code 3-18-10(a). ⤴︎
  9. Ind. Code Ann. § 12-17.2-3.5-17. ⤴︎

Concealed Weapons Permitting in Indiana

Indiana does not prohibit a person from carrying a concealed firearm in public if the person has a license.1 Carrying a handgun is permitted, without a license, in or on property that the person carrying the handgun legally controls or when a person is on property another person legally controls if that person consents to the carrying of a handgun on the property.2 Also, a permit is not required to carry a handgun when attending a firearms related event on the property such as a gun show or instructional course; is on on the property to receive firearms related services such as the repair of a firearm; or is engaged in a legal hunting activity.3 Indiana law also authorizes people who are protected by a court protection order to carry a concealed handgun without a license for up to 60 days.4

Indiana is a “shall issue” state, meaning that the Indiana State Police (ISP) must issue a concealed weapons license if the applicant meets certain qualifications. The Superintendent of the Indiana State Police (Superintendent) shall issue a license to carry a handgun if it appears that the applicant:

  • Has a proper reason for carrying a handgun (i.e., “for the defense of oneself or the state of Indiana;”5 );
  • Is of good character and reputation;
  • Is a citizen of the United States, or not a citizen of the United States but allowed to carry a firearm under federal law; and
  • Is a “proper person” to be licensed.6

A “proper person” is defined as someone who:

  • Does not have a conviction for resisting law enforcement within five years of his or her application;
  • Does not have a conviction for a crime for which he or she could have been sentenced for more than one year;
  • Does not have a conviction for a crime of domestic violence (as defined in § 35-41-1-6.3), unless a court has restored that person’s “right to possess a firearm” under section 35-47-4-7;
  • Is not prohibited by a court order from possessing a handgun;
  • Does not have a record of being an alcohol or drug abuser as defined in Chapter 35-47-1;
  • Does not have documented evidence which would give rise to a reasonable belief that he or she has a propensity for violent or emotionally unstable conduct;
  • Does not make a false statement of material fact on his or her application;
  • Does not have a conviction for any crime involving an inability to safely handle a handgun;
  • Does not have a conviction for violation of the provisions of Title 35, Article 47 within five years of his or her 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 person applying for a license or permit is less than 23 years of age;
  • Has not been involuntarily committed, other than a temporary commitment for observation or evaluation, to a mental institution by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority;
  • Has not been adjudicated mentally ill and dangerous or gravely disabled and committed for a ninety day commitment or a regular commitment to a mental health facility;
  • Has not been found by a court to be mentally incompetent, including not guilty by reason of insanity; guilty but mentally ill; or incompetent to stand trial.7

Furthermore, a person is not a “proper person” if he or she:

  • Has a history of minor criminal activity which would give rise to a reasonable belief that he or she has a propensity for violent or emotionally unstable conduct;
  • Is found, upon a standard of reasonable belief, not to be emotionally stable; or
  • Makes a false statement of material fact on his or her application.8

A license to carry a handgun may not be issued to any person who:

  • Has been convicted of a felony;
  • Has had a license to carry a handgun suspended, unless the person’s license has been reinstated;
  • Is under 18 years of age;
  • Is under 23 years of age if the person has been adjudicated a delinquent child for an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult; or
  • Has been arrested for a Class A or Class B felony, or any other felony that was committed while armed with a deadly weapon or that involved the use of violence, if a court has found probable cause to believe that the person committed the offense charged.9

Licenses to carry handguns are either “qualified” or “unlimited.”10 A qualified license will be issued for hunting and target practice only. An unlimited license is issued for the purpose of the protection of life and property.

The Superintendent must include information concerning handgun safety rules with every issued license, that:

  • Neither opposes nor supports an individual’s right to bear arms;
  • Is recommended by a nonprofit educational organization that is dedicated to providing education on safe handling and use of firearms;
  • Is prepared by the ISP; and
  • Is approved by the Superintendent.11

Firearms Safety Training

Indiana does not require applicants for a license to carry a handgun to undergo training or testing in firearms safety.

Duration & Renewal

A license to carry a handgun is valid for a period of four years from the date of issue in the case of a “four (4) year license,” but for the lifetime of the individual in the case of a “lifetime license.”12 The licenses of police officers, sheriffs or their deputies, and law enforcement officers of the United States government who have been honorably retired by a lawfully created pension board or its equivalent after 20 or more years of service are lifetime licenses.13 However, lifetime licenses are automatically revoked if the license holder does not remain a “proper person” to carry a handgun.14

Disclosure or Use of Information

The following information is confidential, may not be published, and is not open to public inspection:

  • Information submitted by a person to obtain or renew a license to carry a handgun;
  • Information obtained by a federal, state, or local government entity in the course of an investigation concerning a person who applies to obtain or renew a license to carry a handgun; and
  • The name, address, and any other information that may be used to identify a person who holds a license to carry a handgun issued under this chapter.15

However, information may be released to a government entity for law enforcement purposes or to determine the validity of a license. In addition, general information that does not disclose the identity of a person who holds a license to carry a handgun may be released for purposes of journalistic or academic research.16

Reciprocity

Licenses to carry handguns, issued by other states or foreign countries, will be recognized according to the terms in the license and of the issuing state or country, but only while the holders are not residents of Indiana.17

Also, if the applicant is a resident of another state and has a regular place of business or employment in Indiana, he or she must apply for an Indiana license to carry a handgun to the sheriff of the county in which the applicant has a regular place of business or employment.18

See our Carrying Concealed Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-1. ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. Id. ⤴︎
  4. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-2.1. ⤴︎
  5. See Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-1-8; Schubert v. DeBard, 398 N.E.2d 1339, 1341 (Ind. Ct. App. 1980). ⤴︎
  6. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-3. ⤴︎
  7. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-1-7. ⤴︎
  8. 240 Ind. Admin. Code 3-1-1. ⤴︎
  9. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-3. ⤴︎
  10. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-4(a). ⤴︎
  11. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-3. Additional application and background check requirements, as well as permit suspension and disqualification information, are detailed under Ind. Code Ann. §§ 35-47-2-3 through 35-47-2-6. ⤴︎
  12. Ind. Code Ann. §§ 35-47-2-3; 35-47-2-4. ⤴︎
  13. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-3. ⤴︎
  14. Id. ⤴︎
  15. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-3. ⤴︎
  16. Id. ⤴︎
  17. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-21. ⤴︎
  18. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-3(a)(3). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Indiana

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Indiana requires that any person who sells, trades, transfers, exposes for sale, trade or transfer, or possesses with intent to sell, trade or transfer any handgun must possess, and display at all times, a retail handgun dealer’s license.1

To qualify for a license, an applicant must apply to the sheriff of the county in which he or she resides who must verify the application and conduct an investigation into the applicant’s “character and reputation.”2 The sheriff must forward the application, investigation results and his or her recommendation as to approval or disapproval to the state police. The state police must issue a license if it deems the applicant to be of “good character and reputation” and “a proper person to be licensed.”3 However, no retail dealer’s license may be issued to any person who has been:

  • Convicted of a felony in any state or country; or
  • Adjudicated a delinquent child for an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult in any state or country, if the person applying for the retail dealer’s license is less than 23 years of age.4

A dealer license that was applied for after June 30, 2011, is valid for six years from the date of issue.5

A retail dealer’s business may be carried on only at the site designated in the license, and a separate license is required for each separate retail outlet.6 The license itself must be displayed on the business premises in a prominent place where it can be seen easily by prospective customers.7 In addition, no handgun may be sold in violation of any provision of Chapter 35-47-2 or under any circumstances unless the purchaser is personally known to the seller or presents clear evidence of his or her identity.8

A dealer may not sell, rent, trade, or transfer from the dealer’s inventory a handgun to a person not licensed to carry a handgun under state law until the dealer has:

  • Obtained the completed and signed ATF Form 4473;9
  • Contacted the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) by telephone or electronic means to request a background check; and
  • Received authorization from NICS to transfer the handgun to the prospective purchaser.10

In addition, the dealer must record the NICS transaction number on Form 4473 and retain that form for auditing purposes.11

For laws applicable to both licensed and private firearm sellers, please see the Indiana Private Sales section.

Indiana has no law requiring firearms dealers to initiate a background check prior to transferring a long gun. Nevertheless, prior to transferring a long gun in Indiana, a dealer must initiate the background check required by federal law.12

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-14, 35-47-2-15(a), (b). ⤴︎
  2. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-15(a) . ⤴︎
  3. Id. ⤴︎
  4. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-15(f). ⤴︎
  5. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-15(d). ⤴︎
  6. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-16(a). ⤴︎
  7. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-16(b). ⤴︎
  8. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-16(c). ⤴︎
  9. As specified in Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2.5-3. ⤴︎
  10. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2.5-4(a). ⤴︎
  11. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2.5-4(b). ⤴︎
  12. Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Instant Criminal Background Check System Participation Map, at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/general-information/participation-map (last visited Oct 24, 2011). ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited Persons in Indiana

Domestic Violence Perpetrators

A person subject to an order for protection for domestic or family violence may be prohibited by a court from using or possessing a firearm or ammunition.1 The order may direct the subject person to surrender to law enforcement the firearm and ammunition for the duration of the order. See the Indiana Domestic Violence and Firearms section for further information.

Dangerous Individuals

Under Indiana law, a circuit or superior court may issue a warrant to search for and seize a firearm in the possession of a “dangerous individual” if:

  • A law enforcement officer provides the court a sworn affidavit describing the facts that have led the officer to believe the individual is dangerous and in possession of a firearm. The affidavit must also describe the officer’s interactions and conversations with:

The individual who is alleged to be dangerous; or

Another individual, if the law enforcement officer believes that information obtained from this individual is credible and reliable;

  • The affidavit specifically describes the location of the firearm; and
  • The circuit or superior court determines that probable cause exists to believe that the individual is dangerous and in possession of a firearm.2

For the purposes of this provision, the term “dangerous individual” is defined to include a person who:

  • Presents an imminent risk of personal injury to himself, herself or another person; or
  • Presents a risk of personal injury to himself, herself or another person in the future and he or she:

Has a mental illness that may be controlled by medication, and has not demonstrated a pattern of voluntarily and consistently taking the individual’s medication while not under supervision; or

Is the subject of documented evidence that would give rise to a reasonable belief that he or she has a propensity for violent or emotionally unstable conduct.3

Law enforcement officers may seize firearms from any individual whom the law enforcement officer believes to be dangerous without obtaining a warrant. In such an instance, the officer must submit to the court having jurisdiction over the individual a written statement under oath or affirmation describing the basis for the officer’s belief that the individual is dangerous.4

If the court finds that probable cause exists to believe the individual is dangerous, the court shall order the law enforcement agency having custody of the firearm to retain the firearm.5

If the court finds that there is no such probable cause, the court shall order the law enforcement agency having custody of the firearm to return the firearm to the individual.6

If the firearm is retained, the court shall conduct a hearing to determine whether the seized firearm should be returned to the individual from whom the firearm was seized, or retained by the law enforcement agency having custody of the firearm.7 If the court determines that the individual is dangerous, it may order that the law enforcement agency retain the firearm.8 Furthermore, if the individual has a license to carry a handgun, the court shall suspend the individual’s license. If the court determines that the state has failed to prove that the individual is dangerous, however, the court shall order that the law enforcement agency return the firearm to the individual from whom it was seized.9

If a court orders a law enforcement agency to retain individual’s firearm, the individual may petition the court for return of the firearm at least 180 days after the initial ruling.10 The petitioner must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the individual is not dangerous to obtain the firearm.11 If the court denies return of the firearm, the petitioner must wait another 180 days before filing a subsequent petition.12

Notes
  1. Ind. Code Ann. § 34-26-5-9(c)(4), (f). ⤴︎
  2. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-14-2. ⤴︎
  3. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-14-1(a). ⤴︎
  4. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-14-3(a). ⤴︎
  5. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-14-3(b). ⤴︎
  6. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-14-3(b). ⤴︎
  7. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-14-5(a). ⤴︎
  8. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-14-6(b). ⤴︎
  9. Id. ⤴︎
  10. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-14-8(a). ⤴︎
  11. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-14-8(d)(2), (e). ⤴︎
  12. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-14-8(f). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Indiana

Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants

Persons convicted of domestic battery may not possess or carry a firearm in Indiana.1 Indiana law states that expunction of a crime of domestic violence does not restore a person’s right to possess a firearm.2 However, five years following a conviction, a person may petition to have his or her right to possess a firearm restored.3

Federal law also prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by certain domestic abusers.

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders

Indiana permits victims of domestic or family violence to seek protective orders for themselves or a child.4 A person subject to an order for protection for domestic or family violence may be prohibited by a court from using or possessing a firearm or ammunition.5 Furthermore, the order may direct the subject person to surrender to law enforcement the firearm and ammunition for the duration of the order.

Federal law also prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by a person subject to a protective order issued after notice to the abuser and a hearing, if the order protects an “intimate partner” of the abuser, or a child of the abuser or intimate partner.

Removal or Surrender of Firearms When Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders Are Issued

Indiana authorizes, but does not require, courts to issue protective orders that specifically direct the abuser to surrender all firearms and ammunition in his or her possession.6 The order may direct the subject person to surrender to law enforcement the firearm and ammunition for the duration of the order.7

Removal or Surrender of Firearms at the Scene of a Domestic Violence Incident

In Indiana, law enforcement is authorized, but not required, to remove firearms observed at the scene of a domestic or family violence incident. Law enforcement officers responding to the scene of an alleged crime involving domestic or family violence are authorized to confiscate and remove any firearms or ammunition from the scene, if the officer:

  • Has probable cause to believe that a crime involving domestic or family violence has occurred;
  • Observes the firearm or ammunition at the scene; and
  • Has a reasonable belief that the firearm or ammunition: 1) exposes the victim to an immediate risk of serious bodily injury; or 2) was an instrumentality of the crime involving domestic or family violence.8

Any removed firearms or ammunition are to be safely stored by law enforcement pending proceedings related to the alleged act of domestic or family violence.9

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Ind. Code Ann. §§§ 35-42-2-1.3; 35-47-2-1(c); 35-47-4-6. ⤴︎
  2. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-38-9-6(f). ⤴︎
  3. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-4-7. ⤴︎
  4. Ind. Code Ann. § 34-26-5-2. ⤴︎
  5. Ind. Code Ann. § 34-26-5-9(c)(4), (f). ⤴︎
  6. Ind. Code Ann. § 34-26-5-9(c)(4), (f). ⤴︎
  7. Id. ⤴︎
  8. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-33-1-1.5(b). ⤴︎
  9. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-33-1-1.5(c). ⤴︎