In 2022, Indiana repealed its longstanding law that required a person carrying a concealed firearm in public to obtain a license and background check.1 As of July 1, 2022, anyone 18 years-of-age or older who is not prohibited from firearm possession by state or federal law may generally carry a concealed handgun in public.2
A person is not eligible to knowingly or intentionally carry a handgun, and is not eligible for a license to carry, who:3
- Has been convicted of a federal or state offense punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year (not including a federal or state crime or offense pertaining to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, restraints of trade, or other similar offenses relating to the regulation of business practices.);
- Is a fugitive from justice (defined as someone who flees or leaves from any state to avoid prosecution for a felony or misdemeanor offense or flees or leaves any state to avoid testifying in a criminal proceeding);
- Is an alien (defined as someone who has entered the United States without inspection and authorization by an immigration officer; and has not been paroled into the United States under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act; a nonimmigrant whose authorized period of stay has expired, or who has violated the terms of the nonimmigrant category under which the person was admitted; a person paroled under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act whose period of parole has expired; or been terminated; and a person subject to an order of deportation, exclusion, or removal, or to depart the United States voluntarily), regardless of whether or not the person has left the United States;
- Is a person convicted of:
- A crime of domestic violence as defined in Ind. Code Ann. § 35-31.5-2-78;
- Domestic battery as defined in Ind. Code Ann. § 35-42-2-1.3; or
- Criminal stalking as defined in Ind. Code Ann. § 35-45-10-5;
- Is a person restrained by an order of protection issued under Ind. Code Ann. § 34-26-5.
- Is a person under indictment (defined as any formal accusation of a crime made by a prosecuting attorney in any court for a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year).
- Is a person who has been:
- Adjudicated dangerous under Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-14-6;
- Adjudicated a mental defective; or
- Committed to a mental institution.
- Is a person dishonorably discharged from:
- Military service; or
- The National Guard.
- Is a person who renounces the person’s United States citizenship in the manner described in 8 U.S.C. 1481.
- Is a person who is less than:
- Eighteen years of age; or
- Twenty-three years of age and has an adjudication as a delinquent child for an act described by Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-4-5;
A person who would be ineligible for a license to carry but is otherwise eligible to possess a handgun under state or federal law may nevertheless carry a handgun:
- On property that is owned, leased, rented, or otherwise legally controlled by the person or while lawfully present on property that is owned, leased, rented, or otherwise legally controlled by another, if the person:
- Has the consent of the owner, renter, lessor, or person who legally controls the property to have the handgun on the premises;
- Is attending a firearms related event on the property, including a gun show, firearms expo, gun owner’s club or convention, hunting club, shooting club, or training course; or
- Is on the property to receive firearms related services, including the repair, maintenance, or modification of a firearm.
- At a shooting range;
- While attending a firearms instructional course; or
- While engaged in a legal hunting activity.4
A person who would be ineligible for a license to carry may also carry a handgun in a vehicle under certain circumstances.
Indiana has retained its licensing law to allow people who wish to carry in states that require licenses to be able to obtain one. 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;
- 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; or
- Is prohibited by federal law from possessing or receiving firearms.9
An investigation to determine whether possession of a firearm by an applicant would be a violation of state or federal law must include the consulting of available local, state, and federal criminal history data banks, including the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).10
Licenses to carry handguns are either “qualified” or “unlimited.”11 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.12
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 five years from the date of issue in the case of a “five (5) year license,” but for the lifetime of the individual in the case of a “lifetime license.”13 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.14 However, lifetime licenses are automatically revoked if the license holder does not remain a “proper person” to carry a handgun.15
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.16
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.17
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.18
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.19
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- Ind. Code Ann. §§ 14-16-1-23, 35-47-2-3, effective July 1, 2022.
- Ind. Code Ann. §§ 35-47-2-3, 35-47-2-1, effective July 1, 2022.
- Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-1.5.
- Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-1, effective July 1, 2022.
- See Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-1-8; Schubert v. DeBard, 398 N.E.2d 1339, 1341 (Ind. Ct. App. 1980).
- Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-3.
- Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-1-7.
- 240 Ind. Admin. Code 3-1-1.
- Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-3.
- Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-3(d).
- Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-4(a).
- 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.
- Ind. Code Ann. §§ 35-47-2-3; 35-47-2-4.
- Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-3.
- Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-3.
- Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-21.
- Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-3(a)(3).