Indiana Gun Laws

What Is Wrong With Indiana’s Gun Laws?

  • No required background check when purchasing a firearm from a private seller at a gun show or on the internet.
  • No limit to the number of guns purchased at any time.
  • No ban on junk guns or assault weapons.
  • A license to carry is issued at age 18.
  • No reporting requirement of a lost or stolen firearm.
  • If you live in Indiana, think about the impact that our very lax gun laws could have on your safety and the health and safety of those you love.

Indiana Gun Show Sales of Firearms

Indiana does not require universal background checks.  Twenty one states have passed some form of a universal background check law.  The Indiana Legislature does not support this common-sense requirement.

Gun shows are a popular venue for private sales in which unlicensed sellers can sell guns without background checks. “Brick & mortar” gun retailers are required to conduct background checks. There is no good reason to exempt private gun sellers at Indiana gun shows from the requirement of conducting a background check.  A  majority of NRA members agree with us on this simple issue! (1) Its the responsible thing to do.

In 2013, police in Chicago took 7,000 illegal guns off the streets – more than New York & Los Angeles combined.
Many of these guns were purchased in Indiana from private sellers and transported to Chicago for resale. This illegal gun trafficking across state lines into Illinois from Indianapolis is the result of criminals having access to guns from private sellers.  Illinois has some of the toughest gun laws in the country.  Any private (unlicensed) seller of a firearm who seeks to transfer a firearm to any unlicensed purchaser must, prior to transfer, contact the Department of State Police with the transferee’s Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) Card number to determine the validity of the transferee’s FOID Card.1 The seller must await approval by DSP before transferring the firearm.

The ATF has estimated that 6,000 gun shows are held annually in the US.  There are more than 100 gun shows scheduled in Indiana each year.  The ATF estimates that about 30% of all recovered and traced crime guns are purchased a gun shows.

An undercover investigation by New York City at gun shows in Ohio, Tennessee and Nevada found that 74% of the sellers approached by investigators who verbally indicated they were legally prohibited from having guns, were willing to make the sale. The ATF was not involved in this investigation but was provided with the results. (2)

Federal law only requires federally licensed dealers to conduct background checks at gun shows.

The FBI reported that a federal jury convicted a south suburban Chicago man on September 20, 2013, of buying hundreds of high powered firearms at gun shows in Indiana and illegally transporting them to Chicago where he sold them without a federal firearms dealer license. Illinois requires background checks on all sales including private sales. (4)  We, the citizens of Indiana, can fix this problem by joining the 21 states that have passed a universal background check law.

All four guns used in the Columbine school massacre were purchased at gun shows. (2)

(2) The Purported Gun Show Loophole and State-by-State Regulation of Gun Shows
(3) Post-Tribune “Office fights crime one gun at a time”;
(4) FBI – South Holland Man Sentenced to Nearly 17 Years in … (

Indiana Internet Sales of Firearms

Only federally licensed firearm dealers are required to conduct background checks from sales on the internet.  It is estimated that there are about 4,000 internet sites dedicated to facilitating gun sales between private parties.  With respect to private sellers on the internet, if the gun is to be shipped across state lines, it must be shipped to a federally licensed firearms dealer who is required to run a background check before delivering the firearm to the buyer. Intra-state sales in Indiana can be shipped directly to the buyer with no background check. – One is the largest of these sites with 90,000 listings of firearms for sale at the time of this survey, 28,000 of which were for semi-automatic guns.  Indiana had 74.28 listings per 100,000 population and does not require background checks for internet sales from private sellers.  New Jersey which requires background checks has 3.11 listings per 100,000 population.

Some Indiana want ads specifically request to purchase only from a private Indiana seller thereby avoiding a background check.  in states with no universal background check law, Indiana ranks 6th in number of want ads seeking to buy from private sellers – 41 times as many as Rhode Island which requires background checks on all private sales.

source: Third Way and American’s For Responsible Solutions;

Indiana Lost or Stolen Weapons

Indiana does not require the reporting of lost or stolen firearms.  Eleven states have passed laws that require reporting.

These laws require that the report must be filed with local police typically within a time period, such as within 48 hours of the individual becoming aware of the incident. Timely reporting aids law enforcement in tracing crime guns more effectively and the prosecution of users of stolen guns more likely.  Survey research indicates that at least 500,000 guns are stolen annually in the US and data from the ATF indicates that 173,000 guns were reported lost or stolen from other than federally licensed dealers in 2012.

Laws that require firearm owners to report lost or stolen firearms help to deter gun trafficking and discourage straw purchases, (an individual purchasing a firearm for someone who is unable due to their inability to pass a background check).

source: Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, “Reporting Lost or Stolen Weapons in Indiana”;

Indiana Concealed Carry & Open Carry Laws

Indiana requires a license to carry a firearm.  The license allows the concealed and open carry of firearms.  The corporate gun lobby is pushing a bill in Indiana in 2018 that would eliminate the license requirement.  This would increase the risk to the public and to our law enforcement officers who are on the streets every day working to keep us safe.  HCGV had a bill before the 2017 Legislature that would have banned the open carry of assault style weapons. The bill did not receive a hearing in committee.

Indiana Multiple Gun Purchases

Indiana does not limit handgun purchases to one per month. California, New Jersey and Maryland plus the city of New York have passed laws limiting handgun purchases to one handgun in any consecutive period such as 30 days.

Laws that limit the number of purchases of firearms per month reduce gun trafficking and straw purchases.
ATF research showed that of all handguns recovered in a crime, 22% in 1999 and 20% in 2000 were originally purchased as part of a multiple sale.  A study of sales in Maryland in the 1990s indicated that handguns sold as a part of a multiple sale were 64% more likely to be used in a crime than handguns sold in single sales.  A poll in 2012 found that 69% of respondents supported these laws. (1)

In 2011, the ATF began requiring federally licensed firearms dealers in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas to report multiple sales of long guns, (semiautomatic rifles including assault weapons) due to the traffic of these firearms to Mexico as a result of being a weapon of choice for the Mexican drug cartels. (1)

(1) Smart Gun Laws, “Multiple Purchases-Sales of Firearms Policy Summary,