Indiana does not prohibit a person from carrying a concealed firearm in public if the person has a license. Carrying a handgun is permitted, without a license, in or on property that the person carrying the handgun legally controls or when a person is on property another person legally controls if that person consents to the carrying of a handgun on the property. Also, a permit is not required to carry a handgun when attending a firearms related event on the property such as a gun show or instructional course; is on on the property to receive firearms related services such as the repair of a firearm; or is engaged in a legal hunting activity.
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;” );
- 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.
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.
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.
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; or
- 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.
Licenses to carry handguns are either “qualified” or “unlimited.” 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.
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 four years from the date of issue in the case of a “four (4) year license,” but for the lifetime of the individual in the case of a “lifetime license.” 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. However, lifetime licenses are automatically revoked if the license holder does not remain a “proper person” to carry a handgun.
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.
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.
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.
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.
See our Carrying Concealed Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.