Indiana Gun Laws/Restrictions

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is being presented to the website users only as reference material to assist in the making of informed purchasing decisions; however, it is not intended to constitute legal advice nor counsel in determining compliance of the purchaser's Federal, State and Local gun laws, regulations and restrictions. has used reasonable effort in providing this information, from sources deemed reliable, but does not warrant or guarantee the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or currency of the information contained herein, or linked to or from this website. The information provided here is presented as an overview to the myriad of laws, regulations and restrictions in selling to, and shipping into, the customer's State, to be in compliance of that State's laws pertaining to restrictions of: firearms, dangerous weapons, ammunition, magazine round capacities, stun guns, Tasers, accessories, etc. Federal, State and Local gun laws are constantly changing, therefore, it is incumbent upon the purchaser to be thoroughly knowledgeable of the current status of Federal, State and Local gun laws governing their community, to assure that they are in compliance with those laws, regulations and restrictions.


Code Sections

35-47-1-7; 35-47-2-7, 8; 35-47-5-4.1, 8, 11

Types of Illegal Firearms

Possession, sale, transfer, or manufacture of the below firearms is illegal:

  • Machine guns (unless in compliance with NFA)
  • Illegally "Sawed-off" shotguns
  • Armor-piercing handgun ammunition

Waiting Period Before Purchase

  • None

Who May Not Own Guns

Indiana prohibits several different categories of individuals from owning or possessing pistols:

  • Convicted felon.
  • Drug abuser.
  • Alcohol abuser.
  • Mentally incompetent.
  • Under 18 (except if parent or guardian).
  • Convicted for any crime involving an inability to safely handle a handgun.

Laws Prohibiting Firearms On or Near School Grounds

  • Felony. 35-47-9-2

Effective October 1, 2003 Indiana's LTCH (License to Carry Handgun) does not exempt one from the NICS background check upon purchasing a firearm.

It is unlawful for any person to sell or give a firearm to any person whom he has a reasonable cause to believe has been convicted of a felony, or is a drug abuser or under the influence of a drug, or is an alcohol abuser or in a state of intoxication, or is mentally incompetent.

It is generally unlawful to sell or otherwise transfer possession of a handgun to a person under 18 except if the gun comes from the juvenile’s parent or guardian.

If a buyer or transferee is denied the right to purchase a handgun because of erroneous criminal history information, the buyer or transferee may exercise the right of access to and review and correction of criminal history information.

Exempt from the instant check are law enforcement officers; holders of an Indiana concealed carry license; and transactions between licensed firearms importers, collectors, firearms manufacturers or dealers. In some instances, a federal instant check is required.

IC 35-47-2-17; IC 35-47-2.5-14

Firearms Restrictions
  • Machine guns (unless in compliance with NFA)
  • Illegally "Sawed-off" shotguns
Stun Guns/Tasers Restrictions

State Statute or Definition: (35-47-8-3 Taser device definition: Designed to emit electronic charge or shock through use of projectile and used to temporarily incapacitate a person.)

  • Electric stun weapons and Tasers are subject to different laws than stun guns; Tasers subject to requirement of handgun license (35-47-8-4)
Accessories/Ammunition Restrictions
  • Armor-piercing handgun ammunition
  • Devices made or adapted to muffle or suppress the reporting of a firearm (i.e. silencers) used in the act of poaching. But if not engaged in poaching, one may use a suppressor in target shooting or in lawful hunting.

No state permit is required for the possession of a rifle, shotgun, or handgun.

It is unlawful for an adult to provide a firearm to a child or for a child to possess a firearm EXCEPT while the child is:

  • attending a hunter safety or firearms safety course and an adult is supervising the child during the course;
  • target shooting at an established range or in an area where the discharge of a firearm is not prohibited or supervised by a qualified firearms instructor or adult while at the range;
  • engaging in an organized firearm competition or practicing for a performance by an organized group that uses firearms as a part of a performance;
  • lawfully hunting or trapping with a license;
  • traveling with an unloaded firearm to or from an activity described in this section;
  • on real property that is under the control of the child’s parent, an adult family member, or legal guardian and has permission from the child’s parent or legal guardian to possess a firearm;
  • at the child’s residence and has the permission of the child’s parent, an adult family member or legal guardian to possess a firearm.

IC 35-47-4-5 Unlawful possession of firearm by serious violent felon
IC 35-47-10-5 Dangerous possession of a firearm
IC 35-47-4-6 Unlawful possession of firearm by domestic batterer


Indiana's carry statute does not specify open or concealed carry of a handgun. Indiana's license is called a License to Carry Handgun (LTCH).

No person shall carry a handgun in any vehicle or on or about his person without a LTCH being in his possession.

A person may carry a handgun WITHOUT being licensed to carry a handgun if:

(1) the person carries the handgun on or about the person's body in or on property that is owned, leased, rented, or otherwise legally controlled by the person;

(2) the person carries the handgun on or about the person's body while lawfully present in or on property that is owned, leased, rented, or otherwise legally controlled by another person, if the person:

(A) has the consent of the owner, renter, lessor, or person who legally controls the property to have the handgun on the premises;

(B) 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

(C) is on the property to receive firearms related services, including the repair, maintenance, or modification of a firearm;

(3) the person carries the handgun in a vehicle that is owned, leased, rented, or otherwise legally controlled by the person, if the handgun is:

(A) unloaded;

(B) not readily accessible; and

(C) secured in a case;

(4) the person carries the handgun while lawfully present in a vehicle that is owned, leased, rented, or otherwise legally controlled by another person, if the handgun is:

(A) unloaded;

(B) not readily accessible; and

(C) secured in a case; or

(5) the person carries the handgun:

(A) at a shooting range (as defined in IC 14-22-31.5-3);

(B) while attending a firearms instructional course; or

(C) while engaged in a legal hunting activity.

(c) Unless the person's right to possess a firearm has been restored under IC 35-47-4-7, a person who has been convicted of domestic battery under IC 35-42-2-1.3 may not possess or carry a handgun.

(d) This section may be not construed:

(1) to prohibit a person who owns, leases, rents, or otherwise legally controls private property from regulating or prohibiting the possession of firearms on the private property;

(2) to allow a person to adopt or enforce an ordinance, resolution, policy, or rule that:

(A) prohibits; or

(B) has the effect of prohibiting;

an employee of the person from possessing a firearm or ammunition that is locked in the trunk of the employee's vehicle, kept in the glove compartment of the employee's locked vehicle, or stored out of plain sight in the employee's locked vehicle, unless the person's adoption or enforcement of the ordinance, resolution, policy, or rule is allowed under IC 34-28-7-2(b); or

(3) to allow a person to adopt or enforce a law, statute, ordinance, resolution, policy, or rule that allows a person to possess or transport a firearm or ammunition if the person is prohibited from possessing or transporting the firearm or ammunition by state or federal law.


APPLICATION FOR LICENSE: An application for a license to carry a handgun must be made to the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality where the applicant resides, or to the sheriff of the county where the applicant resides or has a regular place of business or employment. The application contains identifying information on the applicant such as: name, address, length of residence in the community, occupation, age, race, nationality, any criminal record, height and weight, and 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 his character, reputation, and information contained in the application. The information together with his recommendation and one set of fingerprints are forwarded to the Indiana State Police Superintendent. The superintendent may make whatever further investigation he deems necessary. If it appears to the superintendent that the applicant has a proper reason for carrying a handgun and is of good character and reputation and a “proper person” to be so licensed, he shall issue either a qualified or an unlimited license to carry any handgun lawfully possessed by the applicant.

Licenses to carry handguns shall be either qualified or unlimited and are valid for 4 years or for the lifetime of the individual receiving the license. Proper reasons for a qualified license are hunting and target practice. Unlimited licenses shall be issued for the purpose of protection of life and property. The superintendent may adopt rules imposing limitations on the use and carrying of handguns by a license holder who carries a handgun as a condition of his employment.

The term “proper person” includes a person:

  • who is 18 and has not been convicted of a crime which carries a sentence in excess of 1 year;
  • who is not a drug or alcohol abuser, does not have a reputation or propensity for violence or instability;
  • who has not made a false statement of material fact on his application;
  • does not have a conviction for resisting law enforcement or of violating Indiana’s weapon laws within 5 years of the application; and
  • does not have an adjudication as a delinquent child for an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult if the applicant is less that 23.

Every initial application will be granted or rejected within sixty days by the Indiana State Police Superintendent. Renewal of an existing license may be filed 365 days before the expiration of the existing license. An application for renewal filed within thirty days of expiration automatically extends the existing license until the application for renewal has been decided. If an application for a license to carry has been denied, a request for a hearing before the superintendent may be made. Should the denial be upheld at the hearing, an appeal may be taken to the circuit court.

For Firearms Licensing Fee Schedule, please visit:

The superintendent shall have the authority to suspend at any time any license issued upon having reasonable grounds to believe that the person’s license should be suspended or revoked.

Licenses to carry handguns, issued by other states or foreign countries, will be recognized according to the terms thereof but only while the holders are not residents of Indiana.

With the exceptions of limitations on carrying during game seasons, state law is silent on the issue of carrying rifles and shotguns.

Prohibits a person, including an individual, corporation, and a government entity, from adopting or enforcing a rule that prohibits an employee of the person from legally possessing a firearm or ammunition that is locked in the trunk of an employee’s vehicle while the person’s vehicle is on the person’s property, unless the firearm or ammunition requires a federal license to possess.


The following persons may possess machine guns: members of the armed forces, approved government agencies and law enforcement while on duty; machine guns kept as relics for display that are harmless and unusable; persons possessing or having applied to possess machine guns under applicable U.S. statutes, and are in compliance with the NFA (National Firearms Act), as long as said machine gun(s) are transferred in compliance with Indiana law; and persons engaged in a business that involves machine guns while or when acting within the scope of and in furtherance of such business.

Short-barrel Shotguns

As of July 2015, legally manufactured short-barrel shotguns are legal for purchase in Indiana, as long as the purchaser complies with the NFA. The new law allows Indiana manufacturers to make shotguns with barrels 18-inches long or less. It also allows for these guns to be sold in the state. Indiana lawmakers approved the law earlier in 2015, and it brings the state into line with federal laws.

The new law requires owners to fill out paperwork, pass a background check, be fingerprinted and pay a $200 NFA fee. The process can take at up to six months to complete.

Sawed-off Shotguns

It is unlawful to modify a shotgun by sawing off it's length or purchasing and possessing a "sawed-off" shotgun.


The chapter of Indiana’s code concerning regulation of handguns does not apply to any firearm not designed to use fixed cartridges or fixed ammunition, or any firearm made in or before 1899. Inoperable handguns cannot be carried as they meet the definition of a handgun.


Local government may not regulate the ownership, possession, sale, transfer, or transportation of firearms or ammunition.

  • Information submitted by a person to obtain or renew a license to carry a handgun is to be confidential, may not be published, and is not open to public inspection unless the federal, state, or local government entity is in the course of investigation concerning a person who applied to obtain or renew their license to carry a handgun.
  • No person shall change, alter, remove, or obliterate the name of the maker, model, manufacturer’s serial number, or other mark of identification on any handgun, or possess such handgun, except as provided by applicable United States statute.
  • It is a felony to recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally perform an act creating a substantial risk of bodily injury or to Inflict bodily injury while armed with a deadly weapon. It is a felony to haze another person while armed with a deadly weapon. It is a felony to riot while armed with a deadly weapon.
  • It is unlawful to possess, transfer or manufacture handgun ammunition “that has a metal core and an outer coating of plastic.” This does not apply to nylon-coated ammunition, plastic shot capsules, or ammunition designed to be used in rifles or shotguns. Law enforcement officers acting in the course of their official duties or persons who manufacture, import, or sell such ammunition to law enforcement agencies are excepted.
  • It is unlawful to shoot upon or across a road.
  • Unless designated as a hunting, firearm sport, or archery area, it is unlawful to discharge a firearm inside a park that falls within the jurisdiction of a county board.
  • Subject to certain narrow exceptions, no person may bring an action against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer, trade association or seller for recovery of damages, injunctive relief or abatement of nuisance relating to the lawful design, manufacture, marketing or sale of a firearm or ammunition, or for recovery of damages resulting from the criminal or unlawful misuse of a firearm or ammunition by a third party.

No unit of government may regulate in any manner the ownership, possession, sale, transfer, or transportation of firearms or ammunition.

IC 35-47-11-2. Regulation of ownership, sale, transfer, etc. of firearms or ammunition

Notwithstanding IC 36-1-3, a unit may not regulate in any manner the ownership, possession, sale, transfer, or transportation of firearms (as defined in IC 35-47-1-5) or ammunition except as follows:

  1. This chapter does not apply to land, buildings, or other real property owned or administered by a unit, except highways (as defined in IC 8-23-1-23) or public highways (as defined in IC 8-2.1-17-14).
  2. Notwithstanding the limitation in this section, a unit may use the unit's planning and zoning powers under IC 36-7-4 to prohibit the sale of firearms within two hundred (200) feet of a school by a person having a business that did not sell firearms within two hundred (200) feet of a school before April 1, 1994.
  3. Notwithstanding the limitation in this section, a legislative body of a unit other than a township may adopt an emergency ordinance or a unit other than a township may take other action allowed under section 6 [IC 35-47-11-6] of this chapter to regulate the sale of firearms anywhere within the unit for a period of not more than seventy-two (72) hours after the regulatory action takes effect.

IC 10-14-3-12; 14- 22- 6-9; 14-22-6-10; 14-16-1- 23; 20-8.1-5.1- 10; 34-12-3-3; 35 42-2-1; 35-45-1.2; 35-47-1; 35- 47-2; 35- 47-3; 35- 47-4; 35- 47-5; 35- 47-6; 35- 47-7; 35- 47-8; 35- 47-9; 35- 47-10; 35- 47-11; 36-10-3-39

Last edited: 9/19/2016