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Indiana Handgun Laws

Indiana is a “shall issue” state, meaning that the licensing authority (in this state, the Superintendent of the Indiana State police) “shall issue” a permit to carry a handgun to a “proper person”. The right to keep and bear arms (RKBA) is also long established as an individual right by the Indiana Constitution and decisions of Indiana’s appellate courts. Even the federal courts, in the landmark Emerson case, have concluded that the right to bear arms is an individual right!

If an applicant is denied a new or renewal permit, the Administrative Adjudication Act guarantees the right to a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge at ISP headquarters in Indianapolis. In case of an adverse decision, judicial review is available.

Indiana gun rights lawyer Paul Stanko stands ready to vigorously represent clients in all matters concerning the exercise of their rights to bear arms under the Indiana and United States Constitutions, including both permit hearings and court proceedings.

INDIANA HANDGUN LAWS

Indiana is a “shall issue” state, meaning that the licensing authority
(in this state, the Superintendent of the Indiana State police) “shall issue”
a permit to carry a handgun to a “proper person”. The right to keep and bear arms (RKBA) is also long established as an individual right by the Indiana Constitution and decisions of Indiana’s appellate courts. Even the federal courts, in the landmark Emerson case, have concluded that the right to bear arms is an individual right!


If an applicant is denied a new or renewal permit, the Administrative
Adjudication Act guarantees the right to a hearing before an
Administrative Law Judge at ISP headquarters in Indianapolis.
In case of an adverse decision, judicial review is available.

IC 35-47-2
Chapter 2. Regulation of Handguns

IC 35-47-2-1
Carrying a handgun without a license or by person convicted of domestic battery
35-47-2-1 Sec. 1. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b) and section 2 of this chapter, a
person shall not carry a handgun in any vehicle or on or about the person’s body, except in the person’s dwelling, on the person’s property or fixed place of business, without a license issued under this chapter being in the person’s possession.
(b) Unless the person’s right to possess a firearm has been restored under IC 3-7-13-5 or IC 33-28-4-8, a person who has been convicted of domestic battery under IC 35-42-2-1.3 may not possess or carry a handgun in any vehicle or on or about the person’s body in the person’s dwelling or on the person’s property or fixed place of business. As added by P.L.311-1983, SEC.32. Amended by P.L.326-1987, SEC.1; P.L.195-2003, SEC.6;
P.L.98-2004, SEC.155.

IC 35-47-2-2
Excepted persons 35-47-2-2 Sec. 2. Section 1 of this chapter does not apply to:
(1) marshals;
(2) sheriffs;
(3) the commissioner of the department of correction or persons authorized by him in writing to carry firearms;
(4) judicial officers;
(5) law enforcement officers;
(6) members of the armed forces of the United States or of the national guard or organized reserves while they are on duty;
(7) regularly enrolled members of any organization duly authorized to purchase or receive such weapons from the United States or from this state who are at or are going to or from their place of assembly or target practice;
(8) employees of the United States duly authorized to carry handguns;
(9) employees of express companies when engaged in company business;
(10) any person engaged in the business of manufacturing, repairing, or dealing in firearms or the agent or representative of any such person having in his possession, using, or carrying a handgun in the usual or ordinary course of that business; or
(11) any person while carrying a handgun unloaded and in a secure wrapper from the place of purchase to his dwelling or fixed place of business, or to a place of repair or back to his dwelling or fixed place of business, or in moving from one dwelling or business to another.
As added by P.L.311-1983, SEC.32.

IC 35-47-2-3
Application for license to carry handgun; procedure 35-47-2-3 Sec. 3. (a) A person desiring a license to carry a handgun shall apply:
(1) to the chief of police or corresponding law enforcement officer of the municipality in which the applicant resides;
(2) if that municipality has no such officer, or if the applicant does not reside in a municipality, to the sheriff of the county in which the applicant resides after the applicant has obtained an application form prescribed by the superintendent; or
(3) if the applicant is a resident of another state and has a regular place of business or employment in Indiana, to the sheriff of the county in which the applicant has a regular place of business or employment.
The superintendent and local law enforcement agencies shall allow an applicant desiring to obtain or renew a license to carry a handgun to submit an application electronically under this chapter if federal funds are available to establish and maintain an electronic application system.
(b) The law enforcement agency which accepts an application for a handgun license shall collect the following application fees:
(1) From a person applying for a four (4) year handgun license, a ten dollar ($10) application fee, five dollars ($5) of which shall be refunded if the license is not issued.
(2) From a person applying for a lifetime handgun license who does not currently possess a valid Indiana handgun license, a fifty dollar ($50) application fee, thirty dollars ($30) of which shall be refunded if the license is not issued.
(3) From a person applying for a lifetime handgun license who currently possesses a valid Indiana handgun license, a forty dollar ($40) application fee, thirty dollars ($30) of which shall be refunded if the license is not issued.
Except as provided in subsection (h), the fee shall be deposited into the law enforcement agency’s firearms training fund or other appropriate training activities fund and used by the agency to train law enforcement officers in the proper use of firearms or in other law enforcement duties, or to purchase firearms or firearm related equipment, or both for the law enforcement officers employed by the law enforcement agency. The state board of accounts shall establish rules for the proper accounting and expenditure of funds collected under this subsection.
(c) The officer to whom the application is made shall ascertain the applicant’s name, full address, length of residence in the community, whether the applicant’s residence is located within the limits of any city or town, the applicant’s occupation, place of business or employment, criminal record, if any, and convictions (minor traffic offenses excepted), age, race,
sex, nationality, date of birth, citizenship, height, weight, build, color of hair, color of eyes, scars and marks, whether the applicant has previously held an Indiana license to carry a handgun and, if so, the serial number of the license and year issued, whether the applicant’s license has ever been suspended or revoked, and if so, the year and reason for the suspension or
revocation, and the applicant’s 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 thereby the applicant’s character and reputation, and shall in addition verify for accuracy the information contained in the application, and shall forward this information together with the officer’s recommendation for approval or disapproval and one (1) set of legible and classifiable fingerprints of the applicant to the superintendent.
(d) The superintendent may make whatever further investigation the superintendent deems necessary. Whenever disapproval is recommended, the officer to whom the application is made shall provide the superintendent and the applicant with the officer’s complete and specific
reasons, in writing, for the recommendation of disapproval.
(e) If it appears to the superintendent that the applicant:
(1) has a proper reason for carrying a handgun;
(2) is of good character and reputation;
(3) is a proper person to be licensed; and
(4) is:
(A) a citizen of the United States; or
(B) not a citizen of the United States but is allowed to carry a firearm in the United States under federal law; the superintendent shall issue to the applicant a qualified or an unlimited license to carry any handgun lawfully possessed by the applicant. The original license shall be delivered to the
licensee. A copy shall be delivered to the officer to whom the application for license was made. A copy shall be retained by the superintendent for at least four (4) years in the case of a four (4) year license. The superintendent may adopt guidelines to establish a records retention policy for a lifetime license. A four (4) year license shall be valid for a period of four (4) years from the date of issue. A lifetime license is valid for the life of the individual receiving the license. The license 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 twenty (20) or more years of service, shall be valid for the life of these individuals. However, a lifetime license is automatically revoked if the license holder does not remain a proper person.
(f) At the time a license is issued and delivered to a licensee under subsection (e), the superintendent shall include with the license information concerning handgun safety rules that:
(1) neither opposes nor supports an individual’s right to bear arms; and
(2) is:
(A) recommended by a nonprofit educational organization that is dedicated to providing
education on safe handling and use of firearms;
(B) prepared by the state police department; and
(C) approved by the superintendent.
The superintendent may not deny a license under this section because the information required under this subsection is unavailable at the time the superintendent would otherwise issue a license. The state police department may accept private donations or grants to defray the cost
of printing and mailing the information required under this subsection.
(g) A license to carry a handgun shall not be issued to any person who:
(1) has been convicted of a felony;
(2) has had a license to carry a handgun suspended, unless the person’s license has been
reinstated;
(3) is under eighteen (18) years of age;
(4) is under twenty-three (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
(5) 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.
In the case of an arrest under subdivision (5), a license to carry a handgun may be issued to a person who has been acquitted of the specific offense charged or if the charges for the specific offense are dismissed. The superintendent shall prescribe all forms to be used in connection
with the administration of this chapter.
(h) If the law enforcement agency that charges a fee under subsection (b) is a city or town law enforcement agency, the fee shall be deposited in the law enforcement continuing education fund established under IC 5-2-8-2.
(i) If a person who holds a valid license to carry a handgun issued under this chapter:
(1) changes the person’s name;
(2) changes the person’s address; or
(3) experiences a change, including an arrest or a conviction, that may affect the person’s status as a proper person (as defined in IC 35-47-1-7) or otherwise disqualify the person from holding a license;
the person shall, not later than thirty (30) days after the date of a change described under subdivision (3), and not later than sixty (60) days after the date of the change described under subdivision (1) or (2), notify the superintendent, in writing, of the event described under subdivision (3) or, in the case of a change under subdivision (1) or (2), the person’s new name
or new address.
(j) The state police shall indicate on the form for a license to carry a handgun the notification
requirements of subsection (i).
(k) The state police department shall adopt rules under IC 4-22-2 to implement an electronic application system under subsection (a). Rules adopted under this section must require the superintendent to keep on file one (1) set of classifiable and legible fingerprints from every person who has received a license to carry a handgun so that a person who applies to renew a license will not be required to submit an additional set of fingerprints.
As added by P.L.311-1983, SEC.32. Amended by P.L.26-1990, SEC.15; P.L.48-1993, SEC.5;
P.L.140-1994, SEC.6; P.L.269-1995, SEC.6; P.L.2-1996, SEC.284; P.L.27-2001, SEC.1;
P.L.120-2001, SEC.1; P.L.49-2005, SEC.2; P.L.187-2005, SEC.3; P.L.190-2006, SEC.2.

IC 35-47-2-4
Qualified or unlimited licenses to carry handguns; fees; exemptions from payment of fees 35-47-2-4 Sec. 4. (a) Licenses to carry handguns shall be either qualified or unlimited, and are valid for:
(1) four (4) years from the date of issue in the case of a four (4) year license; or
(2) the life of the individual receiving the license in the case of a lifetime license.
A qualified license shall be issued for hunting and target practice. The superintendent may adopt rules imposing limitations on the use and carrying of handguns under a license when handguns are carried by a licensee as a condition of employment. Unlimited licenses shall be
issued for the purpose of the protection of life and property.
(b) In addition to the application fee, the fee for:
(1) a qualified license shall be:
(A) five dollars ($5) for a four (4) year qualified license;
(B) twenty-five dollars ($25) for a lifetime qualified license from a person who does not currently possess a valid Indiana handgun license; or
(C) twenty dollars ($20) for a lifetime qualified license from a person who currently possesses a valid Indiana handgun license; and
(2) an unlimited license shall be:
(A) thirty dollars ($30) for a four (4) year unlimited license;
(B) seventy-five dollars ($75) for a lifetime unlimited license from a person who does not currently possess a valid Indiana handgun license; or
(C) sixty ($60) for a lifetime unlimited license from a person who currently possesses a valid Indiana handgun license.
The superintendent shall charge a twenty dollar ($20) fee for the issuance of a duplicate license to replace a lost or damaged license. These fees shall be deposited in accordance with subsection (e).
(c) Licensed dealers are exempt from the payment of fees specified in subsection (b) for a qualified license or an unlimited license.
(d) The following officers of this state or the United States who have been honorably retired by a lawfully created pension board or its equivalent after at least twenty (20) years of service or because of a disability are exempt from the payment of fees specified in subsection (b):
(1) Police officers.
(2) Sheriffs or their deputies.
(3) Law enforcement officers.
(4) Correctional officers.
(e) Fees collected under this section shall be deposited in the state general fund.
As added by P.L.311-1983, SEC.32. Amended by P.L.209-1986, SEC.1; P.L.148-1987, SEC.4;
P.L.75-1989, SEC.9; P.L.190-2006, SEC.3.

IC 35-47-2-5
Suspension or revocation of license; failure to return license; rules concerning procedure for suspending or revoking license
35-47-2-5 Sec. 5. (a) The superintendent may suspend or revoke any license issued under this chapter if he has reasonable grounds to believe that the person’s license should be suspended or revoked.
(b) Documented evidence that a person is not a “proper person” to be licensed as defined by IC 35-47-1-7, or is prohibited under section 3(g)(5) of this chapter from being issued a license, shall be grounds for immediate suspension or revocation of a license previously issued under this chapter. However, if a license is suspended or revoked based solely on an arrest under section 3(g)(5) of this chapter, the license shall be reinstated upon the acquittal of the defendant in that case or upon the dismissal of the charges for the specific offense.
(c) A person who fails to promptly return his license after written notice of suspension or revocation commits a Class A misdemeanor. The observation of a handgun license in the possession of a person whose license has been suspended or revoked constitutes a sufficient basis for the arrest of that person for violation of this subsection.
(d) The superintendent shall establish rules under IC 4-22-2 concerning the procedure for suspending or revoking a person’s license.
As added by P.L.311-1983, SEC.32. Amended by P.L.140-1994, SEC.7; P.L.2-1996, SEC.285; P.L.120-2001, SEC.2; P.L.1-2006, SEC.535.

IC 35-47-2-6
Granting or rejecting the initial application; renewals
35-47-2-6 Sec. 6. (a) Every initial application for any license under this chapter shall be granted or rejected within sixty (60) days after the application is filed.
(b) The period during which an application for the renewal of an existing license may be filed begins one hundred eighty (180) days before the expiration of the existing license. If the application for renewal of an existing license is filed within thirty (30) days of its expiration, the existing license is automatically extended until the application for renewal is passed upon.
As added by P.L.311-1983, SEC.32. Amended by P.L.190-2006, SEC.4.
IC 35-47-2-7 Prohibited sales or transfers of ownership 35-47-2-7 Sec. 7. (a) Except an individual acting within a parent-minor child or guardian minor protected person relationship or any other individual who is also acting in compliance with IC 35-47-10, a person may not sell, give, or in any other manner transfer the ownership or possession of a handgun or assault weapon (as defined in IC 35-50-2-11) to any person under eighteen (18) years of age.
(b) It is unlawful for a person to sell, give, or in any manner transfer the ownership or possession of a handgun to another person who the person has reasonable cause to believe:
(1) has been:
(A) convicted of a felony; or
(B) adjudicated a delinquent child for an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult, if the person seeking to obtain ownership or possession of the handgun is less than twenty-three (23) years of age;
(2) is a drug abuser;
(3) is an alcohol abuser; or
(4) is mentally incompetent.
As added by P.L.311-1983, SEC.32. Amended by P.L.33-1989, SEC.126; P.L.140-1994, SEC.8; P.L.269-1995, SEC.7.

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