Background Check Regulations in Indiana


Federal law requires gun buyers to pass a criminal background check prior to purchasing a gun. Each state may have slightly different regulations regarding background checks as long as the state follows federal regulations. In Indiana, licensed gun dealers must perform background checks on buyers, although private sellers do not have to do so.

Federal Laws

Indiana must comply with federal laws requiring gun buyers to submit to background checks prior to purchasing firearms. As of 2011, the state of Indiana may perform its own background checks on gun buyers or allow the FBI to perform a federal background check. All people in Indiana who purchase a handgun or long gun, including people redeeming pawned weapons, must pass a background check before they can take possession of the weapon.

Private Sales

As of 2011, Indiana does not require private gun owners to run background checks on potential buyers prior to selling or giving them guns. However, private sellers may not sell or give handguns to anybody who they have reason to believe is ineligible due to mental competency, drug or alcohol abuse or felony convictions. Thus, private sellers may want to require background checks anyway to ensure that gun buyers are eligible to purchase guns.

Prohibited Buyers

Gun buyers may not purchase guns if their background check shows convictions for violent felonies such as domestic battery or restraining orders due to domestic violence.Domestic violence victims may possess firearms in Indiana. A gun dealer also may not knowingly sell a gun to a person who has been convicted of conspiring to commit or attempting to commit a felony or aiding a minor in attempting to commit a felony, particularly if the felony was violent.

Mental Health

Both Indiana and federal law prohibit gun dealers from selling weapons to persons who are mentally incompetent or suffer from debilitating mental illnesses. Federal law does not require states to report specific mental health information to the National Criminal Background Check System, so these types of issues will not appear on background checks. Indiana does not require gun dealers to report specific mental health information to NCIS.

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