Purchasing a firearm can be an exciting time in your life, but you’ll want to ensure you take the proper steps to complete the transaction safely. This process involves securing the appropriate licensing in some states, although that isn’t necessary in Indiana.
Buying a gun in Indiana is straightforward because all you’ll have to do is visit a licensed dealer, pass a background check, and pay for the firearm. You can obtain an Indiana License to Carry a Handgun (LTCH), though, if your priority is to carry your gun away from your property as a form of protection is a priority.
License holders are free to carry open and concealed weapons in most places in the state. This guide will take you through the process of buying a gun in Indiana and provide information on how you can receive your LTCH before or after your purchase.
Acquiring an Indiana License to Carry a Handgun
An Indiana License to Carry a Handgun isn’t necessary to purchase a firearm in the state. You will, however, need a license if you wish to carry an open or concealed weapon away from your home. Here’s how the process works:
Complete the Online Application
You’ll begin by submitting a handgun license application through the Indiana State Police website. This application will ask for personal information, including your address, current employer, and criminal history. You’ll have 180 days to complete the following steps after submitting your initial application.
Schedule a Fingerprint Appointment
You’ll have to visit an approved location to submit your fingerprints to the state police electronically. Police headquarters, labs, medical centers, and some private businesses can take your fingerprints, but you’ll have to book your appointment ahead of time. There is a fee for this service.
Visit a Local Police Department
The next step involves stopping by a local police department for processing. You’ll need to provide your handgun license application number, and additional fingerprints are necessary for your local police. Some departments will charge a fee for this service, as well.
Wait For Approval
All you’ll have to do after submitting your documents and fingerprints is wait for your license to arrive. Your permit will come in the mail once approved. There’s an appeal process if your application is denied that involves sending a written request for reconsideration to the Firearms License Unit of the Indiana State Police.
You can apply for both five-year and lifetime LTCH permits when you submit your initial application, and both are fee exempt as of July 1, 2021. Getting your Indiana License to Carry a Handgun takes some effort because of the office visits, but you’ll only have to do it once if you obtain a lifetime permit.
7 Steps For Buying a Gun in Indiana
The Indiana gun-buying process is relatively simple because there aren’t any licensing or registration requirements. It’s still a good idea to clearly understand your rights and responsibilities, though, to prevent disappointment. Here’s how it works:
1. Visit a Dealer
Buying a gun in Indiana begins when you head to a federally licensed firearms dealer to initiate the process. Any retailer selling guns falls into this category. It’s also possible to buy a gun privately if you wish.
2. Choose a Firearm
Your chosen dealer will have a wide selection of guns available, so it’s a good idea to do some research before visiting to ensure you’re getting the right weapon to meet your needs. The staff can also guide you in the proper direction as you search. Every firearm the dealer sells is legal to own in the state.
3. Complete a Background Check
A federal background check through the FBI’s NICS program is necessary before completing any gun sale through a federally licensed dealer in Indiana. The dealer must initiate this check by contacting the FBI directly. This check will investigate the buyer’s criminal history, ensuring they aren’t prohibited from buying a gun in Indiana or anywhere else in the country.
4. Finalize the Purchase
The background check will only take a few minutes, and you can then pay for the firearm and complete the purchase. Indiana doesn’t have a mandatory waiting period, so you’re free to leave the premises with the gun.
5. Take the Gun Home
You’ll have to take the gun directly home with you unless you have an LTCH. The firearm must remain unloaded, out of reach, and in a secured case during transportation for those without a valid permit to carry it in public.
6. Get Your LTCH
You can carry your firearm in your vehicle and in public with an Indiana License to Carry a Handgun. This permit applies to both open carry and concealed carry in all locations except those where it’s prohibited by federal, state, or local laws.
7. Invest in Some Safety Training
Concealed carry instruction isn’t necessary to receive your LTCH in Indiana, but it’s highly recommended. Completing some training with a certified instructor ensures you know how to handle the firearm safely and can protect your home and family if there’s an intruder.
It’s straightforward to legally buy a gun in Indiana, as you can walk into any federally licensed gun shop and purchase a firearm in a matter of minutes without a permit. Getting your LTCH and completing your training will take a bit more time but will ensure you get the most from your purchase.
Becoming a Safe Gun Owner
Indiana’s gun laws are very relaxed, but there are some steps you can take to guarantee you have full rights as a legal firearm owner. Taking specialized training also ensures that you’re safe as you exercise these rights because the more you know about using your chosen weapon, the more secure you can keep your home and family.
Concealed Coalition provides educational safety training for anyone looking to carry a concealed weapon in Indiana. We’ve provided firearm training for over a million Americans, doing our part to keep lawful gun owners safe. Contact our office today to discuss your firearm education needs.