If you’re an Indiana resident, the process of buying a gun just got a lot easier.
And if you’re wondering what that means for your right to bear arms, we’ve got all the details for you.
House Bill 1296, also known as the “constitutional carry” law, went into effect on July 1, 2022 and essentially removes most of the qualifications previously needed to carry a handgun in public.
The Indiana General Assembly has spoken and they’ve made it clear that they value your right to bear arms.
Check Out: Ohio Constitutional Carry Law
Table of Contents
What Exactly is The New Indiana Constitutional Carry Law?
The new law imposes few requirements for the purchase of a gun in the state.
Any Indiana resident over the age of 18 may purchase a gun from a licensed dealer as long as the individual satisfies the definition of a “proper person” as defined in Indiana Code: 35-47-17.
The new Indiana law will allow any person who can legally possess a handgun to carry it in public without a license.
There are some exceptions, such as carrying a gun on school property or at a school-sponsored event, but in general, the new law gives people much more freedom to carry guns in public.
The main purpose of the new law is to increase people’s ability to defend themselves and their families.
However, there are some who say that the new law will make it easier for criminals to get their hands on guns. Only time will tell how successful the new law will be in achieving its goals.
Are there any restrictions on carrying in Indiana?
Yes, Indiana has a number of gun restrictions in place in order to help keep its citizens safe.
For example, those who have been convicted of resisting law enforcement or of any offense punishable by more than one year in jail are not allowed to possess firearms.
Additionally, those with a record of alcohol or drug abuse, or who have false information on their firearm license application, are also restricted from owning guns.
Furthermore, juveniles who have been adjudicated delinquent for certain violent offenses if the person is less than 23 years old are also not allowed to possess firearms.
Those who have been involuntarily committed for mental health reasons are also restricted from owning guns.
Individuals with a history of involuntary commitment or adjudication of mental incompetence are prohibited from possessing firearms.
In addition, individuals who have been adjudicated as dangerous in a proceeding under Indiana Code: 35-47-14-6 are also prohibited from possessing firearms.
These restrictions help to ensure that firearms are not in the hands of individuals who pose a danger to themselves or others.
What are Some Illegal Uses of Firearms in Indiana?
According to Indiana Code § 35-47-2-1.5 You cannot own, or be in possession of a firearm in the state of Indiana if any of these apply:
- You’ve had convictions in the last five years for criminal stalking, domestic violence, or domestic battery.
- You have a felony conviction record.
- You are not a legal resident of the United States.
- You’ve fled to avoid being convicted of a crime or compelled to give testimony in a criminal case.
- You have an order of protection against you.
- An indictment has been issued against you.
- You have been found to be mentally ill or dangerous, or you have been ordered to be committed.
- You received a Dishonorable Discharge from the Military.
- You’ve given up your US citizenship.
- If you are under the age of 18 or 23 and have a juvenile conviction for an offense that would merit a serious violent felony.
What does Federal Law Say About Gun Ownership?
Federal gun laws, which override Indiana’s law, impose several requirements and restrictions. For instance, felons are banned from buying a weapon.
When purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer, buyers must complete ATF Form 4473 and undergo a background check through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS).
The NICS checks verify the buyer’s eligibility to legally purchase a firearm. However, even if the buyer passes the NICS check, the purchase may still be subject to state and local laws.
Therefore, it’s important for anyone wishing to purchase a gun to consult their local laws to ensure they are following all applicable regulations.
Do I Need a Permit to Carry?
No, per Indiana Code § 35-47-2-3, individuals who are over the age of 18 and do not have a felony conviction will be able to carry a gun without a permit.
However, there are still some places where carrying a gun will be prohibited, such as on school property, school buses, and in airports and shipping ports.
In addition, businesses will be allowed to prohibit patrons and visitors from carrying firearms on their premises.
Finally, cities, counties, and towns will also be able to regulate firearms within their jurisdiction.
Can I Carry in Other States? (Indiana Constitutional Carry in Other States)
The state of Indiana will no longer require a permit to carry a handgun. However, this does not mean that you can automatically carry a gun into any other state.
Each state has its own laws regarding handguns, and some states do not honor Indiana’s permitless carry law.
If you plan to travel to another state with a gun, it is important to research the gun laws of that state in advance.
Otherwise, you may face criminal charges if you are caught carrying a gun without the required permit.
By taking the time to familiarize yourself with the gun laws of the states you plan to visit, you can avoid any legal trouble or confusion.
What Are The Indiana Constitutional Carry for Minors?
Under Indiana Code § 35-47-10-1, there are certain circumstances under which minors are permitted to possess and shoot firearms.
These include using or carrying a firearm on property owned by the minor’s parent or guardian with the parent’s or guardian’s permission, attending a qualifying firearm safety program, hunting or trapping with a valid Indiana license, and competing in a qualifying firearms competition.
In each of these cases, the minor must comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
Additionally, it is important to note that this list is not exhaustive and other circumstances may also allow minors to possess and shoot firearms.
Ultimately, it is up to the parent or guardian to determine whether or not their child is ready and willing to safely handle a firearm.
What are the restrictions for minors?
In Indiana, it is illegal for an adult to knowingly provide a minor with a firearm if the child is ineligible for such possession.
This offense is a Level 5 felony, but it can be enhanced to a Level 4 or 3 felony if the adult has prior convictions under this law or if the child used the gun to commit murder, respectively.
These penalties are in place to deter adults from arming minors and to hold them accountable for any resulting crimes.
By working to keep guns out of the hands of minors, Indiana can help to make its communities safer for everyone.
Indiana Code § 35-47-10-7 makes it a felony for a parent or guardian to knowingly allow a child to possess a gun if the parent is aware of a substantial risk that the child will use the gun to commit a felony.
This offense is a Level 5 felony, but becomes a Level 4 felony if the parent has a similar prior conviction.
The parent or guardian must also make reasonable efforts to prevent the child from using the gun to commit a felony.
Violation of this section can result in serious penalties, including prison time.
Therefore, it is important for parents and guardians to be aware of the risks associated with guns and take measures to prevent their children from accessing firearms.
Can You lose your right to own or carry a gun in Indiana?
The loss of gun rights is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly. In Indiana, there are three primary reasons why an individual may lose their right to own or carry a gun.
The first is due to a felony conviction. If you are convicted of a felony, you will automatically lose your gun rights.
Domestic Battery Convictions
Anyone in Indiana, who has a conviction of domestic battery are prohibited from possessing a gun under Indiana Code § 35-47-4-7. If you are convicted of domestic violence, you will also lose your gun rights.
Protective Order Against You
Finally, if you are subject to a protective order, you may also lose your gun rights. If you do find yourself in one of these situations, it is important to seek legal counsel so that you can take the necessary steps to restore your gun rights.
Only an attorney will be able to fully advise you of the specific steps that need to be taken in your individual case.
How About Expungement of a Prior Conviction
A felony conviction can have a major impact on your life, including your right to own or possess a firearm.
In Indiana, a person convicted of a felony is prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm under both federal and state law.
However, an expungement of the Indiana conviction can restore a person’s gun ownership and possession rights.
To qualify for expungement, it must be five years from the date of a misdemeanor conviction and eight years for felony convictions.
Additionally, the petitioner must not have any other convictions during the waiting period to become eligible for an expungement.
An experienced Indiana expungement attorney can help you determine whether you are eligible for an expungement and guide you through the process. If it is in your best interests to proceed with an expungement.
How to Get Firearms Back After Being Seized By The Police?
Below are the general procedures for getting firearms back after they have been seized by Indiana law enforcement.
Petitioning the Court for Return of Seized Firearms after a Hearing
If a law enforcement officer in Indiana feels that an individual is a danger to the public or themselves, they are able to seize that person’s firearms.
The “Jake Laird Law” or red flag law requires officers to get a warrant before seizing the firearm, or to file an affidavit with the court explaining why the individual is dangerous after seizing the firearm.
The court decides if there is enough evidence that the person is dangerous.
If the court decides that an individual is dangerous, the police will keep the person’s gun, and the person cannot have a gun or license to carry a gun.
After this decision, the dangerous person must wait six months to petition to get their guns back.
The Burden of Proof Shift After a While
The burden of proving that the person is still a dangerous individual shifts depending on how long has passed since the court’s initial decision at the hearing on a petition for the return of seized guns.
If it’s been less than a year since the court’s prior decision, the petitioner must satisfy this burden by preponderance of evidence.
However, if the hearing occurs more than a year after the court’s previous conclusion, the prosecutor must show that the individual is still dangerous with clear and convincing evidence.
If the court rejects the petition, the petitioner must wait another six months before submitting a new petition.
Following the seizure of weapons under the red flag law, it is important to plan carefully and prepare ahead of time, as there are lengthy waiting periods. An Indiana gun attorney or an Indiana gun permit lawyer can assist.
FAQ About the New Indiana Gun Laws
Below are some frequently asked questions about the new Indiana gun laws.
Q: I was previously convicted of a felony. Am I able to possess a firearm now?
A: If you have been convicted of a felony, you are not able to possess a firearm.
Q: Who can carry a gun under the new law?
A: Anyone who is at least 18 years old and meets the definition of a “proper person” as defined in Indiana Code § 35-47-2-3.
Q: How do I know if I’m a “proper person”?
A: You are a proper person if you are not prohibited from possessing a firearm under Indiana law. Read Indiana Code § 35-47-1-7 for the definition of a proper person.
Q: What are the consequences of carrying a gun without a license?
A: There is no longer a penalty for carrying a gun without a license in Indiana as long as you meet the “proper person” condition.
Q: What are the consequences of carrying a gun without a license if I’m not a proper person?
A: It all depends on the circumstances. If you are not a proper person and you carry a gun in public, you could be arrested and charged.
Q: What if I’m carrying a gun and I’m stopped by the police?
A: As a courtesy to the police officer, you should inform the officer that you are carrying a gun.
Q: I have a license to carry a gun from another state. Can I still carry my gun in Indiana?
A: Yes, as long as you meet the definition of a proper person under Indiana law.
Q: Do I need a license to carry a gun in my car?
A: No, you do not need a license to carry a gun in your car.
Q: Can I carry a gun in my backpack?
A: Yes, as long as you meet the condition of a proper person as defined by Indiana Code.
Q: Can I carry a gun in a bar?
A: Yes, however, the bar can restrict this privilege.
Q: Can I carry a gun on school property?
A: No, you cannot carry a gun on school property.
Q: Can I open carry under the new law?
A: Yes, as long as you meet the definition of a proper person.
Q: What is the difference between open carry and concealed carry?
A: Open carry means that you are carrying your gun in plain sight, while concealed carry means that you are carrying your gun hidden from view.
Q: Can I carry on school property?
A: You cannot carry your gun on school property, at an airport, or in a courthouse. For more places where you cannot carry a gun, see Indiana Code 35-47-2-3.
Q: Can I still get a license to carry a gun?
A: Yes, you can still get a license to carry a gun in Indiana. It is not required, but if you plan on traveling to other states, it’s a good idea to have a license as other states may not honor Indiana’s gun laws.
Q: What do I need to do to get a license to carry a gun?
A: You will need to complete an application, which includes a criminal history background check, and submit it to the Indiana State Police.
Q: How long does it take to get a license to carry a gun?
A: You should receive your license within 60 days of applying, as long as you meet all the requirements.
Q: I’ve been convicted of a felony. Can I still get a license to carry a gun?
A: No, you cannot get a license to carry a gun if you’ve been convicted of a felony.
Q: I have a restraining order against me. Can I still get a license to carry a gun?
A: No, you cannot get a license to carry a gun if there is a restraining order against you.
Q: I’m a fugitive from justice. Can I still get a license to carry a gun?
A: No, you cannot get a license to carry a gun if you’re a fugitive from justice.