Indiana Licensure Process on Carrying a Handgun–What You Need to Know

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Purchasing and possessing a firearm in Indiana is a legal process that requires one to know the licensure process and the appeals process should one’s permit application be denied. Indiana is a “shall issue” state (Ind. Code 35-47-2-3), which means that the Indiana State Police shall issue a concealed carry permit to one who meets the following criteria:

  • The person has a proper reason for carrying a handgun; See Code 35-47-1-8 and Schubert v. DeBard, 398 N.E.2d 1339, 1341 (Ind. Ct. App. 1980) (holding that self-protection is constitutionally a “proper reason” within the meaning of Indiana’s licensing statute).
  • The person is of good character and reputation;
  • The person is a citizen of the United States, or not a citizen of the United States but allowed to carry a firearm under federal law; and
  • Is a “proper person” to be licensed.

The definition of “proper person” is found at Ind. Code 35-47-1-7, and one will note that the definition is largely exclusionary of individuals with a wide variety of criminal convictions. For example, Ind. Code 35-47-1-7(2) prevents most convicted felons from being considered a “proper person” qualified for a license to carry.

However, expunging one’s criminal record can fully restore what are termed the “three core civil rights of a person” and in turn allow a person to qualify as a “proper person” under Ind. Code 35-47-1-7 thus affording the individual the statutory requirements to obtain a concealed carry permit.

In fact, in 2015, language was added to Ind. Code 35-38-9-10(c) that restores one’s ability to be a “proper person,” provided one was not convicted of a domestic violence offense—“the right of a person convicted of a crime of domestic violence to possess a firearm may be restored only in accordance with Ind. Code 35-47-4-7.” (Ind. Code 35-38-9-6).

Obtaining an expungement of past convictions and/or arrests can be one of the most effective tools in establishing yourself as a “proper person” in the State of Indiana. If you have been denied a license to carry a handgun due to past convictions or arrests, reach out to us at Banks and Brower to see if we can help you restore your ability to exercise your Second Amendment rights.

Should you or a loved one be facing a criminal charge in Indiana, give the experienced Indianapolis Criminal Defense Attorneys at Banks & Brower a call today at 317.870.0019. Or email us at We are available 24/7/365.