Weapons Charges in Indiana

Indiana regulates the possession and use of concealed weapons, including guns and explosives.

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.

Permits and Licenses to Carry

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.)

Children and Schools

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.)

Convicted Felons

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.)

Prohibited Weapons

Indiana laws prohibits possessing the following weapons:

  • switchblades
  • sawed-off shotguns
  • machine guns, and
  • weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons).

(Ind. Code Ann. § § 35-47-5-2, 35-47-5-4.1, 35-47-5-8, 35-47-12-1.)

Altering Identifying Marks

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:

  • Obtaining a firearm through false information is a Class C felony, punishable by two to eight years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000. (Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-23.) For more information on sentencing in Indiana, see Indiana Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences and Indiana Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences. Law enforcement officers can also seize any firearm obtained by false information.
  • Aiming a gun at another is a Class D felony (punishable by at least six months in jail or as much as three years in prison as well as a fine of up to $10,000) if the gun is loaded and a Class A misdemeanor (punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000) if the gun is unloaded.
  • Possession of a gun at school is Class D felony.
  • Possession of a gun by a child is a Class A misdemeanor.
  • Providing a child or a convicted felon or some other person who is prohibited from having a gun with a gun is a Class C felony.
  • Possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon is a Class B felony, punishable by six to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Possession of a firearm by a person convicted of domestic battery is a Class A misdemeanor.
  • Possession of a switchblade is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Possession of sawed-off shotguns is a Class D felony.
  • Possession of a machine gun is a Class C felony.
  • Possessing, using, or manufacturing weapons of mass destruction is a Class A or B felony, punishable by six to 50 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Altering identifying marks on a handgun is a felony, punishable by at least one year in prison.

Obtaining Legal Assistance

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.

Talk to a Lawyer

Start here to find criminal defense lawyers near you.

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you

Talk to a Defense attorney

We've helped 95 clients find attorneys today.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you