See our Background Check Procedures policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
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
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.
- Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2.5-4(a).
- Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Instant Criminal Background Check System Participation Map, at https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/nics-participation-map.pdf/view.