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What Indiana's permitless handgun carry law does and doesn't do

Handguns for sale are sitting on a table and affixed with tags displaying information about them.
FILE PHOTO: Justin Hicks
IPB News
Indiana's new permitless handgun carry law does not impact background checks when you buy a gun.

A lot of listeners have questions about Indiana’s new permitless handgun carry law, which takes effect Friday.

IPB News has answers to some of the most common about what the law, HEA 1296, does and doesn’t do.

Previously, if you wanted to carry a handgun in public in Indiana, you needed to get a permit from the state to do so. That involved submitting to a background check by the Indiana State Police and fingerprinting.

Starting Friday, you no longer need that permit.

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The new law does not impact background checks when you buy a gun. If someone purchases a gun from what’s known as an FFL, or Federal Firearms License, dealer, they undergo a background check. That’s the majority of gun purchases.

And the recent bipartisan U.S. Senate gun bill signed by President Joe Biden expands those background checks for people under age 21.

However, if you buy a gun in a private sale from someone who’s not an FFL dealer, there is no background check. And without the state's carry permit requirement, there would no longer be any background check before carrying a handgun in public.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.


Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri.