Authored by: Mike Ooley
Although we do not believe you should have to pay a fee and ask permission to exercise a Constitutional right, we nonetheless suggest that folks obtain an Indiana License to Carry Handgun, if eligible. The Indiana State Police is the designated bureaucracy that processes the applications. You can apply online at: https://www.in.gov/isp/. Look for the section entitled "Firearms Licensing."
We encourage folks to get the license, if eligible, even if you do not currently intend to carry a firearm. One reason is that you might change your mind about carrying in the future. If you already have the license, you will not have to wait for the application process to take place. Additionally, we suggest getting a license if your spouse or other family member has a license and carries a firearm. You might find yourself needing to take control of the firearm as a result of any number of possible scenarios, one of which would be a medical emergency.
What makes an Indiana resident eligible? Well . . . there are a number of qualifiers - (surprise . . . surprise . . .) one of which is paying a ransom (the state calls it a fee) to exercise your rights. Currently, the fee for a lifetime license should be $125 (includes a state and local government fee). You must also have a "proper reason" to have the license. Luckily, Indiana is a "shall issue state," so this means you are "allowed" to have the license if it is for the defense of oneself or the State of Indiana. Another important eligibility factor is whether you are a "proper person" under Indiana law. Please review the following to understand the current definition of a "proper person" in Indiana:
Sec. 7. "Proper person" means a person who:
(1) does not have a conviction for resisting law enforcement under IC 35-44.1-3-1 within five (5) years before the person applies for a license or permit under this chapter;
(2) does not have a conviction for a crime for which the person could have been sentenced for more than one (1) year;
(3) does not have a conviction for a crime of domestic violence (as defined in IC 35-31.5-2-78), unless a court has restored the person's right to possess a firearm under IC 35-47-4-7;
(4) is not prohibited by a court order from possessing a handgun;
(5) does not have a record of being an alcohol or drug abuser as defined in this chapter;
(6) does not have documented evidence which would give rise to a reasonable belief that the person has a propensity for violent or emotionally unstable conduct;
(7) does not make a false statement of material fact on the person's application;
(8) does not have a conviction for any crime involving an inability to safely handle a handgun;
(9) does not have a conviction for violation of the provisions of this article within five (5) years of the person's application;
(10) does not have an adjudication as a delinquent child for an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult, if the person applying for a license or permit under this chapter is less than twenty-three (23) years of age;
(11) has not been involuntarily committed, other than a temporary commitment for observation or evaluation, to a mental institution by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority;
(12) has not been the subject of a:
(A) ninety (90) day commitment as a result of proceeding under IC 12-26-6; or
(B) regular commitment under IC 12-26-7; or
(13) has not been found by a court to be mentally incompetent, including being found:
(A) not guilty by reason of insanity;
(B) guilty but mentally ill; or
(C) incompetent to stand trial.
As added by P.L.311-1983, SEC.32. Amended by P.L.191-1984, SEC.1; P.L.148-1987, SEC.3; P.L.269-1995, SEC.5; P.L.49-2005, SEC.1; P.L.118-2007, SEC.34; P.L.127-2011, SEC.3; P.L.114-2012, SEC.139; P.L.126-2012, SEC.57.
If you have made it this far and are confident you have a "proper reason,", are a "proper person," and can pay the required fees, we would say you have an excellent chance of getting your license as long as you are not a "prohibited person" under federal law. You are probably not a prohibited person under federal law if you have purchased a gun recently via an FFL and otherwise meet the criteria above. If you are unsure and need further guidance regarding the definition of a "prohibited person", you can "Google" the following statute for more information: 18 USC § 922.
One word of caution, be sure to take your time when filling out the online application to make sure you thoroughly and accurately complete the form. We understand one of the most frequent reasons for denial is providing a misstatement in the application - especially regarding prior criminal history. Sometimes a factual error is simply due to a misunderstanding or forgetting about what happened 30 years ago. The bottom line - be accurate, honest and thorough. If you have doubts about how to answer a question, check with the ISP or an attorney.
Last point - if your request for a License to Carry Handgun is denied for some reason, there is an appeals process that you can request within a designated timeframe. The appeal might involve a hearing with an administrative law judge as your next step.
I hope this has helped you better understand the process. Please exercise your rights and apply.