People in Indiana have the right to bear arms guaranteed by both the United States and Indiana Constitutions. However, the right is not unlimited. Although Indiana has fairly liberal gun laws, a variety of state laws regulate who can carry a gun and where. This article focuses on Indiana’s current laws, but some of Indiana's gun laws have changes that go into effect in July 2014. If you're interested in gun laws in other states, see Gun Possession and Use Laws.
Adults in Indiana can purchase guns without a permit. However, people do need permits to carry a weapon (openly or concealed) anywhere except on their own private property or on private property belonging to another, with the permission of the property owner. For more information, see Gun Permit Laws in Indiana and Open and Concealed Gun Carrying Laws in Indiana.
Indiana law does provide for background checks for some gun sales. It is a crime to provide false information in order to buy a handgun or in an application for a license to carry a handgun. (Ind. Code Ann. § § 35-47-2-17, 35-47-2.5-1.)
Under Indiana’s laws, it is a crime to aim a gun (whether loaded or unloaded) at another. The law does not apply to law enforcement officers or people acting in self-defense. (Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-4-3.)
It is a crime for a person in Indiana to possess a gun at a school, on a school bus, or at a school function. (Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-9-2.) Children are generally prohibited from possessing guns, unless they are engaged in hunting, target shooting, or are on their parent’s property and possess the gun with the permission of their parents. It is a crime for an adult, other than a child’s parent or guardian, to provide a child with a gun. (Ind. Code Ann. § § 35-47-2-7, 35-47-10-1, 35-47-10-5, 35-47-10-6.)
People who have been convicted of “serious violent felonies” are prohibited from possessing firearms in Indiana, as are people who have been convicted of domestic battery. Serious violent felonies include murder and homicide, kidnapping, rape, child molestation, sexual battery, robbery, carjacking, burglary, and drug trafficking. (Ind. Code Ann. § § 35-47-2-1, 35-47-4-5.) For more information on domestic battery, see Indiana Domestic Violence Laws. It is also a crime for a person to sell or give a handgun to a person whom the defendant knows or has reason to believe is a convicted felon, is mentally incompetent, or has a drug or alcohol abuse problem. (Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-7.)
Indiana laws prohibits possessing the following weapons:
(Ind. Code Ann. § § 35-47-5-2, 35-47-5-4.1, 35-47-5-8, 35-47-12-1.)
It is also illegal in Indiana to alter or remove the make, model, serial number, or other identifying marks from a handgun or possess a handgun when the identifying marks have been altered. (Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-18.)
Indiana law provides for the following penalties for violations of its weapons laws:
If you are charged with a crime as a result of your possession or use of a gun, you should definitely talk to a criminal defense attorney. Indiana’s gun laws are undergoing some changes in 2014 and an attorney can explain these changes and help you present the strongest possible defense.