Indiana Gun Laws


The State of Indiana stands out on the topic of reciprocal carry in two ways. First, a statutory reciprocity scheme recognizes all other states’ licenses to carry a handgun.

Second, Indiana was the first state to adopt a lifetime license to carry. Upon initial application or renewal, a person may pay additional fees and obtain a lifetime license to carry a handgun. So long has he or she remains a “proper person,” the license remains valid for life and no renewal is required.

For orientation purposes in reciprocal carry or interstate transportation, Indiana is bordered on the north by Michigan, on the east by Ohio and on the west by Illinois. The Ohio River physically separates Indiana from the State of Kentucky.

A. State Constitution

Regarding the right to bear arms, the Indiana Constitution states:

“The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State.”


B. Scope of Preemption

The controlling language of the Indiana preemption statute is set forth as follows:

“Except as provided in section 4 of this chapter, a political subdivision may not regulate: (1) firearms, ammunition, and firearm accessories; (2) the ownership, possession, carrying, transportation, registration, transfer, and storage of firearms, ammunition, and firearm accessories; and (3) commerce in and taxation of firearms, firearm ammunition, and firearm accessories.”


C. Reciprocal Carry

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.”


D. Criminal Provisions

Under Indiana law, a license to carry a handgun is not valid in any of the following places or circumstances, whether it is issued by Indiana, or a person is carrying pursuant to a reciprocity between his or her state of license and Indiana:

  • Knowingly or intentionally pointing a firearm at another
  • Aboard a commercial or charter aircraft
  • An area of an airport to which access is controlled by the inspection of persons and property
  • In or on school property, property being used by a school for a school function, or a school bus (except for possession inside a motor vehicle being used to transport another to or from a school or school function)
  • Discharge of a firearm in a park, where not designated for hunting or firearm sport
  •  Inside a Riverboat Casino or shipping port.  130 IAC 4-1-10 []
  • Any building that contains a court room, but the restriction does not apply to areas of the building occupied by residential tenants or private businesses []
  • Firearms must be locked in a vehicle during the Annual State Fair.  Section 80 IAC 4-4- 4 []