We’ve written a few articles recently about Indiana gun laws, but the state is now one of 22 states across the U.S. that allow “permitless carry” for handguns. Governor Eric Holcomb signed House Bill 1296 into law on March 21, 2022, with the law set to go into effect on July 1, 2022. This law repeals old laws that required license to carry applications for handgun owners, despite strong opposition from many law enforcement agencies across the state.
The new law can be confusing because of the long-standing permit requirements, so we want to make sure you know your rights going forward in the Hoosier State.
How to legally carry in Indiana under the new law
Again, we want to stress that the following information is only valid after July 1, 2022. Until the law goes into effect, you will still need to apply for a license to carry through the Indiana State Police.
Once the law is in effect, handgun owners will still need to pass a federal background check. These checks verify that applicants don’t have a criminal history or documented mental illnesses that could prevent safe and legal gun ownership. After passing a background check, any Hoosier 18 and older who can legally carry a gun will be able to carry a handgun without a license.
Traveling with a handgun
This becomes slightly more complicated now. Just because you don’t need a permit to carry your handgun in Indiana doesn’t mean you don’t need one in another state. In order to legally carry your handgun in states that have reciprocity with Indiana, you will need to apply for a permit just as you always would have prior to the law changing.
This means you can use this permit when traveling into those other states only if they have an agreement with Indiana to honor permits given out by law enforcement here.
Law also increases punishments for stealing a firearm
This practice, often referred to as “constitutional carry,” provides gun owners with more freedoms, but it will bring more severe penalties for people who steal guns. Theft of a firearm will be a Level 5 felony after July 1st, meaning anyone convicted can be imprisoned for between one and six years and may face a fine of up to $10,000.
Know your rights
The best way to make sure you’re protected is to speak with an attorney when you find yourself in trouble with the law. Changes to gun laws are likely to raise confusion as residents adjust to the new laws. Contact Blankenship Law to protect your rights in Indiana. When your life is on the line, we’ve got your back.