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With some exceptions, Indiana generally prohibits a person from owning or possessing any machine gun or operating a loaded machine gun.1 However, this prohibition does not apply to any person possessing a machine gun “under applicable federal statutes.”2

Federal law requires machine guns to be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), and generally prohibits the transfer or possession of machine guns manufactured after May 19, 1986.3 In December 2018, ATF finalized a rule to include bump stocks within the definition of a machine gun subject to this federal law, meaning that bump stocks will be generally banned as of March 26, 2019.4  Because trigger activators are also considered machine guns by the ATF and must be registered, a state law passed in 2023 effectively bans possession of trigger activators.5

In addition, Indiana requires state law enforcement officers to issue a certification if requested by an individual so the individual can obtain a machine gun or other federally regulated firearm (as long as the individual is not prohibited by law from possessing the firearm, or the subject of a proceeding that could result in the individual being prohibited).6 Law enforcement officers in Indiana may be held personally liable for willful violations of the law requiring them to issue certifications.7

In 2019, Indiana repealed a ban on transferring an assault weapon to a person under the age of 18 and replaced it with a ban on transferring a machine gun to a person under the age of 18.8

 See our Machine Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue. 

  1. Ind. Code Ann. §§ 35-47-5-8, 35-47-9.[]
  2. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-5-10(7).[]
  3. 18 U.S.C. § 922(o); 26 U.S.C. § 5861(d).[]
  4. Bump-Stock-Type Devices, 83 Fed. Reg. 66,514 (Dec. 26, 2018) (to be codified at 27 C.F.R. pts. 447, 478, 479).[]
  5. IC 35-31.5-2-190.[]
  6. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-8.5.[]
  7. Ind. Code Ann. §35-47-8.5-4.[]
  8. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-7.[]