“The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State.”
AT A GLANCE
Indiana is a shall-issue state with permits being issued by the Indiana State Police. There is no permit or registration required to purchase a firearm. Only residents or residents of neighboring states who are at least 18 years old can buy long guns. To buy a handgun, you must be a resident at least 21. Open carry and concealed carry are legal for residents with an Indiana License to Carry a Handgun (LCH) and for non-residents with any valid state license to carry. The minimum age is 18 years old. Indiana honors permits from all states and jurisdictions. Indiana is a Castle Doctrine state and has a “stand your ground” law. There is no duty to retreat if deadly force is necessary. No person shall be placed in legal jeopardy of any kind for protecting the person or a third person by reasonable means.
By statute, Indiana will recognize another state’s license to carry:
“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.”
Duty To Notify Police Officer
Indiana does not require individuals to inform a LEO of a permit or license to carry but if an Officer asks about a weapon, by law, an answer must be supplied. Unless You are carrying in Your dwelling or fixed place of business, You must possess a permit in order to carry a firearm.
Carrying Firearms In Vehicles
Indiana permits anyone who is legally allowed to own a gun to carry a long gun in their vehicle, without a permit. Someone without a permit may only carry a handgun if it is unloaded, not readily accessible, and secured in a case, AND the vehicle is owned, leased, rented, or otherwise legally controlled by the person carrying the handgun.
Indiana permits the ownership of all NFA items, provided they are legally owned pursuant to federal law. Suppressors may also be used while hunting. CLEOs are required to sign an application for the transfer of any item regulated under the NFA within 15 days if the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving it.
Indiana has both Castle Doctrine and SYG laws. There is no duty to retreat when attacked in any place You have a legal right to be. You may also use reasonable force to arrest or prevent the escape of a person who has just committed a felony. You may use deadly force in defense of yourself or others if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death, SBI, the commission of a forcible felony, or to stop the unlawful & forcible entry into Your dwelling, residence, occupied motor vehicle, or to prevent the hijacking of an airplane while in flight.
In addition, a law passed in 2012 expands the castle doctrine to allow the use of force against public servants (such as LEO) if You reasonably believe it is necessary to:
- protect the person or a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful force;
- prevent or terminate the public servant’s unlawful entry of or attack on the person’s dwelling, curtilage, or occupied motor vehicle; or
- prevent or terminate the public servant’s unlawful trespass on or criminal interference with property lawfully in the person’s possession, lawfully in possession of a member of the person’s immediate family, or belonging to a person whose property the person has authority to protect.
This law allows the use of deadly force if necessary to prevent death or SBI if You reasonably believe the public servant is either acting unlawfully or not engaged in executing their official duties.
NOTE: Despite the above law, it is extremely inadvisable to use force against the police, and doing so will almost certainly result in You being prosecuted (even if You aren’t convicted), or may cause the police officer to shoot You. Determining whether or not the actions of LEO are lawful is usually a complex legal question that requires careful deliberation by lawyers and does not lend itself well to snap decisions made in the heat of the moment. If You use force against a public servant whose actions turn out to be lawful, You can expect to be charged with resisting arrest, assault on a police officer, or a number of other serious felonies. The safest and most prudent course of action will almost always be to cooperate with the LEO and challenge their actions in court later.
A recent court case, Cupello v. State, applied the Indiana law authorizing the use of force against public servants, and overturned a man’s conviction for battery against a police officer on the grounds of self-defense. In that case, an off-duty cop stuck his foot in the doorway of an apartment while questioning the occupant, and the occupant slammed the door on the cop, hitting his foot. The court ruled that slamming the door was a reasonable use of force to terminate an unlawful entry into the dwelling.
Cupello v. State, 27 N.E.3d 1122, 1129 (Ind. Ct. App. 2015)
Carry In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol
There is no law stating it is illegal. You can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Places like Fridays or Chili’s unless they have a “No Gun Sign,” then You are prohibited from carrying into the establishment. This does not include a bar or the bar area of a restaurant. You can carry your firearm into a restaurant that serves alcohol, but you are prohibited from consuming alcohol while carrying a firearm.
Do “No Gun Signs” Have The Force Of Law?
“No Firearm” signs in Indiana do not have the force of law unless they are posted on property that is specifically mentioned in State Law as being off limits to those with a permit/license to carry. However, as a possessor with a real property interest, a retailer, has the right to limit, and qualify the right to enter the property, subject to not carrying a handgun. It would be improper to enter, and the licensee would be subject to ejection for possession of a handgun thereat. Failure to leave once requested would subject the licensee to arrest for criminal trespass.
Open carry is legal in Indiana but You must have a valid permit/license to open carry. Places listed in the “Criminal Provisions” above apply to those who open carry.
In May 2017, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that detaining an individual based solely upon their possession of a handgun (in order to verify that they are licensed) violates the Fourth Amendment absent any other reasonable articulable suspicion of a crime being committed.
Age To Purchase Handguns And Carry Permit
You only need to be 18 to purchase a handgun or handgun ammunition from a private party in Indiana. In addition, the minimum age for obtaining an Indiana carry permit is 18. Indiana is a shall issue state, and offers both 4 year and lifetime carry permits.
As of July 1, 2017, persons who are: (1) at least 18 years old; (2) protected by a protection order; (3) have applied for a license; and (4) are not prohibited from possessing a handgun may carry a handgun without a license for 60 days from the date of the protection order being issued.
Indiana has few laws regulating the private transfer of firearms between two Indiana residents, and these laws only address the private sale of handguns, not long guns. Private transfers are not subject to background checks. Indiana prohibits selling handguns to people under 18 (except transfers from parents/guardians to their children). It is illegal to sell or transfer a handgun to anyone You know is prohibited from owning a handgun or intends to use the firearm in the commission of a crime, but You do not have a duty to conduct an inquiry or actively investigate whether the prospective buyer is a prohibited person. Private transfers are the only way for people under 21 to legally obtain handguns. When selling a firearm to a private party, You should ask for identification to show that the purchaser is a resident of Indiana. An Indiana CCP is the best form of ID because it also shows that the purchaser is not a prohibited person.
Out Of State Firearm Purchases
Indiana residents may purchase long guns from an FFL in any state and take the firearm back to Indiana without having to ship it to an FFL located in Indiana, so long as the state of purchase allows sales to people from out of state. If You buy a handgun from an FFL or any firearm from a private party in another state, that firearm must be shipped to an Indiana FFL for pick up. Indiana allows residents of other states to purchase long guns from an Indiana FFL.
Firearms At Work
Most employers are not allowed to adopt or enforce policies that forbid employees from keeping firearms and ammunition in their vehicle, even on the employer’s premises. Holders of a CCP have the right to store guns in their cars without fear of punishment, so long as the firearm is locked in the trunk, in the glove box of a locked vehicle, or stored out of sight within a locked vehicle. Employers may still ban guns from the property of child care centers, domestic violence shelters, college campuses, or secured locations.
Employees are permitted to store firearms in their personal vehicles parked at correctional facilities. Additionally, licensed state employees are permitted to carry a handgun within the state capitol building.
DISCLAIMER: The Gun Laws by State Guide (GLBSG) was created to provide its readers with a general educational resource tool to explore the pertinent gun laws in Your jurisdiction.
However, the GLBSG was not researched and/or written by attorneys as a specific legal guide to rely upon. Instead, it is a starting point for your own research. In addition, all laws are always subject to reasonable, but different, legal interpretation as to meaning and application.
As such, the GLBSG is not intended to supplant, nor limit, Your need for independent verification of any and all material contained herein and consultation with competent counsel of choice regarding any specific issues.
This type of specific legal analysis is necessarily beyond the general educational objective of the GLBSG and for which a bar-admitted attorney in the particular state(s) is needed and required. The content of this GLBSG is a general restatement of the law.
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