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FAQs: Indiana Handgun Licenses 

In the wake of the adoption of constitutional carry, many Hoosiers find themselves pondering the relevance and necessity of obtaining an Indiana handgun license. Despite the fact that a handgun license is no longer required to carry a handgun, citizens are still required to uphold the law by ensuring they are deemed a “proper person” under Indiana firearms law and comply with federal regulations, specifically 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), governing firearm possession. 

The significance of an Indiana handgun license even extends beyond mere compliance. A pivotal advantage of the licensing process is the Indiana State Police’s (ISP) comprehensive background check. This step is instrumental in affirming that an applicant does not have felony convictions or other legal impediments that would restrict their right to carry a firearm lawfully. Moreover, the Indiana handgun license opens doors for legal firearm travel beyond state lines. With many states recognizing Indiana’s firearm license through reciprocity agreements, licensed Hoosiers can enjoy greater freedom and flexibility when traveling with their firearms. 

If you have any questions about obtaining an Indiana handgun license or Indiana firearms law, in general, the handgun license attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP are here to assist you.  Our firm has extensive experience with Indiana’s handgun laws, and can help you understand your rights, including questions about whether you need a handgun license or permit to buy, possess, or carry a gun. To speak with an Indiana handgun license lawyer today, call 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. 

Indiana Handgun License Lawyer: Reinstatement, Expungement and Appeals

Do You Need an Indiana Handgun License to Carry?  

Following the passing of a constitutional carry law in 2022, individuals who are over the age of 18 and who are not prohibited from carrying or possessing a firearm may both open and concealed carry in Indiana without a license. However, it’s important to understand that this freedom comes with specific legal stipulations.  

To legally carry or possess a handgun in Indiana, individuals must be considered a “proper person” as defined under Indiana Code 35-47-2-1.5. This excludes anyone with a felony conviction, a history of mental instability, a restraining order related to domestic violence, or any other criteria that would legally disqualify someone from carrying a firearm. Additionally, the law requires that individuals must be deemed a “proper person” under Indiana Code 35-47-2-1. This involves not having a record of serious criminal activity or other legal impediments that would raise concerns about one’s suitability to carry a handgun.  

Essentially, while the need for a handgun license for carrying within the state has been removed, ensuring you are not a prohibited person and are considered a proper person is critical for lawful carry. This approach underscores Indiana’s commitment to balancing Hoosier’s Second Amendment rights with the imperative of public safety and legal responsibility. 

What are the Benefits of Applying for an Indiana Handgun License?  

Obtaining an Indiana handgun license, despite the recent legislative changes allowing for permitless carry, presents several significant benefits that enhance both the peace of mind and the practical experiences of gun owners. One of the most compelling advantages is the thorough background check conducted by the Indiana State Police (ISP) as part of the licensing process. This rigorous examination ensures that all applicants meet the strict criteria set forth by the state for lawful firearm possession. For many individuals, having the ISP’s endorsement on their ability to legally carry a handgun provides a substantial level of comfort and assurance. 

Beyond the personal reassurance offered by the state’s vetting process, possessing an Indiana Handgun License can greatly simplify interactions with law enforcement. In scenarios where you might be stopped or questioned by police while armed, having a handgun license readily available to present can significantly ease the situation. This documentation serves as immediate proof of your legal standing to carry a firearm, potentially streamlining the encounter and minimizing any anxiety typically associated with such interactions. 

What States Have Concealed Carry Reciprocity with Indiana? 

Traveling with a firearm requires careful planning and adherence to the laws of each state you plan to visit. An essential aspect of this preparation is understanding which states recognize your Indiana handgun license through reciprocity agreements. In this context, reciprocity means that one state agrees to honor the concealed carry permits or licenses issued by another, allowing for more seamless travel for gun owners between states with such agreements in place. 

For those holding a handgun license, you’ll find that navigating the complexities of state-by-state firearm laws becomes significantly more manageable. Generally, 32 states recognize or have reciprocity agreements with Indiana. This extensive network of reciprocity can make traveling with a firearm more convenient for Indiana license holders, as it often allows them to legally carry their concealed weapon in these states without needing to obtain additional permits. 

However, while many states provide reciprocity with Indiana, the regulations, restrictions, and recognition can vary from one state to another. Some states may have specific conditions under which they recognize another state’s permit, or there might be slight differences in the laws regarding where you can carry concealed within those states. Therefore, before traveling, it’s imperative to research and understand the specific requirements and laws of each state you plan to visit with your firearm. 

In summary, having a handgun license can greatly facilitate the process of traveling with a firearm across state lines, thanks to reciprocity agreements. Nonetheless, responsible gun ownership includes ensuring compliance with the varying laws and regulations of each state you visit. Always verify the current status of reciprocity agreements and understand the local laws to ensure a lawful and hassle-free experience while traveling with your firearm. 

What is the Process of Applying for a Handgun License? 

Applying for an Indiana Handgun License involves a detailed process designed to ensure that all applicants meet the state’s criteria for responsible gun ownership. The process, governed by Indiana Code 35-47-2-3, is structured to assess the applicant’s eligibility thoroughly, including their legal right to carry a firearm, character, and reputation. Here’s a step-by-step overview of the application procedure: 

Step 1: Complete the Application Online 

  • Access and complete the application on the ISP website. The application will require detailed personal information, including your name, address, occupation, criminal record (excluding minor traffic offenses), and more. If you’re not a U.S. citizen, you’ll need to provide your country of citizenship, place of birth, and any alien or admission number issued by U.S. immigration services. 

Step 2: Undergo Background Check and Investigation 

  • Once your Indiana handgun license application has been submitted, the ISP will verify your information and check your criminal record. This includes consulting local, state, and federal criminal history databases, such as the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to ensure that you’re eligible to possess a firearm under state and federal law. It’s important to note that one set of legible and classifiable fingerprints will be required as part of the investigation. 
  • It’s important to understand that Hoosiers with any criminal history will take face significantly longer application times, as the ISP will need to verify the disposition(s) of those events. In addition, those who have not submitted the required medical or work documentation will often experience delays with their application. 

Step 3: Recommendation and Decision 

  • Based on the investigation, the ISP will issue recommendation for approval or disapproval, along with a detailed report. If disapproval is recommended, the ISP will provide specific reasons in writing. From there, a superintendent will conduct any further investigation into the matter deemed necessary. Ultimately, approval is contingent upon the applicant having a proper reason for receiving a license, being of good character and reputation, being considered a “proper person” to be licensed and being a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen under federal law. 

Step 4: Issuance of License 

  • If approved, the ISP will issue a license to carry a handgun in Indiana. Licenses can be either for five years or for a lifetime, depending on the option chosen during the application process. The original license is delivered to the licensee, with copies sent to the law enforcement officer involved in the application process and retained by the superintendent. 

Does Expungement Help You Obtain an Indiana Handgun License? 

Yes, under most circumstances, obtaining an expungement in Indiana can indeed aid in restoring gun rights for those with past felony convictions, potentially facilitating the process of acquiring an Indiana handgun license. Expungement is a legal process that effectively seals or erases the record of a person’s conviction, making it possible for them to regain rights that were lost due to that conviction. However, it’s important to understand that this process comes with certain limitations and exceptions. 

Limitations and Exceptions 

Not all individuals are eligible for expungement, particularly those convicted of certain offenses. Specifically, Indiana law explicitly excludes expungement for the following: 

  • Individuals listed as sex or violent offenders
  • Convictions related to official misconduct as defined under Indiana Code 35-44.1-1-1
  • Convictions for two or more offenses involving the use of a deadly weapon that were not part of the same episode of criminal conduct. 
  • Convictions for homicide, including voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter. 

Furthermore, for those convicted of a crime of domestic violence in Indiana, expungement does not automatically restore firearm possession rights. According to Indiana Code 35-47-4-7, individuals with such convictions are prohibited from possessing a firearm, even after their records have been expunged. This means that while an expungement can clear the path towards regaining various rights and improving one’s standing, it does not directly reinstate the right to own or carry a firearm for these individuals. 

Restoration of Gun Rights Post-Expungement 

For those affected by the limitations above, particularly in cases of domestic violence convictions, there exists a separate legal avenue to pursue the restoration of gun rights. These individuals can petition the court specifically requesting the restoration of their firearm rights. This process is distinct from expungement and requires convincing the court that restoring the petitioner’s gun rights would not be contrary to public safety. 

Need Assistance Obtaining an Indiana Handgun License? 

If you need help obtaining an Indiana handgun license or appealing a handgun license rejection, Keffer Hirschauer LLP is available to assist you. Our Indiana handgun license attorneys understand the handgun licensure process inside and out and could help you through the process by taking these actions: 

  • Identify and gather the documentation required for your application 
  • Work to eliminate any obstacles to eligibility, such as the expungement of your criminal record in Indiana 
  • Complete the application accurately and completely 
  • Identify and understand the reasoning behind a license application denial 
  • Identify and prepare the best argument, gather the necessary documentation, and represent you at the appeal meeting 

To begin working to obtain your Indiana handgun license today, call our firm at 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. 

FAQs: Indiana Handgun License
Article Name
FAQs: Indiana Handgun License
This article addresses some of the most common questions readers have about the Indiana Handgun License and the process of applying for one.
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Keffer Hirschauer LLP

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