The State of Indiana requires most individuals to obtain a firearms license to carry a handgun within the state legally. Your license to carry can only be obtained after submitting a handgun license application and meeting all qualifications to obtain an Indiana carry permit. Possession of a firearm in violation of Indiana’s firearms license laws could result in criminal charges.
Who is Eligible to Obtain an Indiana Gun License?
Only a “proper person” can obtain an Indiana license to carry a handgun. The term “proper person” is defined in IC 35-47-1-7.
To qualify for an Indiana carry license, you cannot have any of the following:
- A conviction for domestic battery unless the court restored your right to possess a gun
- A record of abusing drugs or alcohol
- Designation by a court as being dangerous
- A conviction for violating the provisions of IC 35-47 (Weapons Code) within five years
- A conviction for a crime that you could have been sentenced for more than one year
- A court order prohibiting you from possessing a gun
- Making a false statement of material fact on handgun license applications
- A record of being involuntarily committed to a mental institution, other than being temporarily committed for evaluation or observation
- A conviction for resisting law enforcement under IC 35-44.1-3-1 within five years
- Adjudication of being a delinquent child for a crime that would be a felony if committed by an adult if you are younger than 23 when applying for an Indiana firearm permit or firearm license
- A conviction of any crime that involves the inability to handle a handgun safely
- Being the subject of a 90-day commitment under IC 12-26-6 or regular commitment under IC 12-26-7
- A court finding that you are mentally incompetent, including being found not guilty because of mental illness, insanity, or incompetent to stand trial
- Documented evidence that substantiates a reasonable belief that you have the propensity for emotionally unstable or violent behavior
A person with any of the above could still potentially obtain an Indiana handgun permit. However, the person might need to take additional steps before being granted the right to conceal and carry in Indiana.
How Do I Apply for a Gun Permit in Indiana?
You can purchase a handgun in Indiana without obtaining a permit. You also are not required to register that gun once you have purchased it. However, if you want to carry a handgun, you must obtain a valid Indiana carry permit.
The Indiana State Police Department processes applications for firearms licensing. If you are ready to begin the application process, it is wise to read the information provided on the Indiana State Police Firearms Licensing page.
To begin a new online application, you must complete the Handgun License Application through the Indiana State Police Handgun Licensing Portal.
You have just 90 days after the completed online application is submitted to:
- Schedule an appointment at an approved location for fingerprinting, AND
- Complete local law enforcement agency processing
When you schedule the appointment for your fingerprints, you must submit your last name, application number, and date of birth. You must visit your local police office or county sheriff’s office to submit your local fee payment and handgun license application number.
You can check the status of your firearms license application online by logging into the licensing portal. If your background check and other information are approved, you will receive your firearms license through the mail.
You may apply for a five-year license to carry a handgun (LTCH), which is now exempt from a state fee. Law enforcement officers who are medically retired after at least 20 years of service may also be eligible for a handgun license without paying a fee.
Second Amendment Rights and Weapons Charges
Even though you may have a constitutional right under the Second Amendment to bear arms, it does not mean that federal and state gun laws cannot restrict your rights. Laws restricting the use of guns and the possession of guns are constitutional. Violating any of these laws can result in severe criminal penalties, including prison and fines.
Types of Gun Offenses in Indiana
There are several types of gun offenses and weapons charges in Indiana that gun owners need to be aware of as they purchase, possess, use, and carry firearms. Some of the most common types of gun charges are:
Possession of a Handgun Without a License
You cannot carry a handgun in your car or on your body without a valid Indiana gun permit. Possession of a handgun without a license is a Class A misdemeanor. However, you could face a Level 5 felony if you have a previous conviction for this offense or another felony.
Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Violent Felon
If you have been convicted of committing, attempting to commit, or conspiring to commit a serious felony, you cannot legally possess a firearm. Serious violent felonies include rape, murder, and aggravated battery. You can be charged with a Level 4 felony.
Pointing a Handgun at Someone
Pointing a handgun at another person could result in a Level 6 felony charge if the gun was loaded. If the gun was unloaded, the charge is a Class A misdemeanor.
Removing or Altering a Serial Number on a Firearm
It is illegal to alter, change, or remove a serial number from a firearm. If you are caught, you can be charged with a Level 5 felony. It is also illegal to possess a handgun that has a missing or altered serial number.
What Should You Do if You Are Arrested for a Firearms Offense in Indiana?
The consequences of a firearms conviction can be severe. You could lose your gun ownership rights and have a permanent criminal record. Some individuals may be sent to prison and charged hefty fines for convictions of firearms offenses. You could also lose your professional license for a firearms conviction.
If the police arrest you for a firearms charge, do not resist arrest or answer questions. The best step you can take is to remain silent except for asking for a lawyer. The more you talk to the police, the more information and evidence you give them to convict you.
The police and the prosecutor already believe you are guilty. Nothing you say will change their opinion. However, the things you say can make it more difficult to mount a successful defense.
As soon as possible, contact an Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer to discuss your case. Do not discuss your case with family or friends. They could become potential witnesses.
Also, do not discuss your charges online or post information on social media. Your attorney may direct you to deactivate your social media accounts until your criminal case is resolved. The key takeaway is that you need to immediately talk to a criminal lawyer and only to a criminal lawyer about your case.