With crime rising across America the need for law-abiding citizens like you and me to defend ourselves is ever rising. That’s why I’ve written this article to help you find out which weapons are legal to possess in the Hoosier State.
Legal Self Defense Weapons in Indiana
The following weapons are legal to own and carry in The State of Indiana.
- Standard stun guns
- Some knives
- Tactical Pens
- Personal alarms
The Following Weapons are Illegal in Indiana
- Armor-piercing ammunition
- Powerful stun guns without a license
- Sawed-off shotgun
- Machine gun
- Knife with a detachable blade or that may be ejected from the handle (switchblades)
- Throwing stars
Indiana Self Defense Laws
Indiana does allow its residents to defend themselves with ‘reasonable’ force, however, there is no duty to retreat when defending yourself, others, or your property.
By reaffirming the long standing right of a citizen to protect his or her home against
unlawful intrusion, however, the general assembly does not intend to diminish in any way the
other robust self defense rights that citizens of this state have always enjoyed. Accordingly, the
general assembly also finds and declares that it is the policy of this state that people have a right
to defend themselves and third parties from physical harm and crime. The purpose of this
section is to provide the citizens of this state with a lawful means of carrying out this policy.
(b) As used in this section, “public servant” means a person described in IC 35-31.5-2-129 or IC
(c) A person is justified in using reasonable force against any other person to protect the person
or a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful
force. However, a person:
(1) is justified in using deadly force; and
(2) does not have a duty to retreat;
if the person reasonably believes that
Stand Your Ground Law 2019
In 2019 the legislature and the governor signed, an ‘enhanced’ stand your ground law. Under the new law not only are you immune from criminal prosecution for protecting yourself or your property but you’ll also be shielded from civil lawsuits as well.
Provides immunity for a justified use of force in certain instances. Requires a court to award, in certain instances, reasonable attorney’s fees and costs to a defendant when the justified use of force immunity is successfully raised. Permits a person who may legally possess a firearm to possess a firearm on school property if the person possesses the firearm: (1) as an employee or volunteer of a house of worship located on the school property; or (2) while attending a worship service or religious ceremony conducted at a house of worship. Increases the duration of a four year handgun license to five years. Provides that an individual may simultaneously hold both a five year license and a lifetime license.
How to Get a Gun Permit in Indiana
It’s pretty easy to get a gun permit in Indiana. You can apply online here.
- You must be 18 years of age and you must live in Indiana or have a place of business in Indiana.
- Not convicted of domestic battery
- You also can’t have any felony convictions or had your firearms rights to be restricted by a judge.
- Not dangerous or mentally ill (Indiana’s red flag law)
How Far do You Have to Be from a House to Shoot a Gun in Indiana?
As of March 2020, Indiana has no laws stating how far you must be from a house to shoot a gun. There was a bill introduced to regular ‘unlawful discharge’ but it died in committee.
That being said, common sense tells us you can’t shoot near someone else’s house without their permission. You’re also not allowed to discharge a firearm in a park in The State of Indiana unless it’s a designated hunting rage or firing range. (source)
The exception in Indianapolis/Marion county. You may not discharge a firearm in Indianapolis or Marion county at all except to defend yourself, your property, or another person.
Within the police special service district, it shall be unlawful for any person to fire off, shoot at another person or otherwise use any dangerous weapon for any purpose other than in defense of his life or the life of another person, or the protection of his property or property entrusted to him by another person, or for practice at a range under the supervision and operation of a governmental entity, or without the prior written approval of the department of public safety.
Stun Guns in Indiana
Residents in Indiana are allowed to carry stun guns so long as they don’t have a prior conviction for improper use of a stun gun. You also can’t be under 16 or have a felony conviction.
Stun guns are good self-defense weapons to have. I bought my mother one for Christmas last year and she takes it on her walks in the morning. The most important thing is to make sure you have a stun gun that is on your person and ready to go in a split second. There are pink keychains and pepper spray combos you can take a look at to see if they would be a good fit for you.
Check out my article on Best Tasers for Self Defense
What Knives are Legal in Indiana?
You may carry a pocketknife in Indiana, however, any knife with a detachable blade or a blade that may be ejected from the handle. Any other knife is legal.
Pepper Spray is Legal to Carry in Indiana
Pepper spray (also known as capsaicin spray) is a lachrymatory agent (a chemical compound that irritates the eyes to cause a burning sensation, pain, and temporary blindness) used in policing, riot control, crowd control, and self-defense, including defense against dogs and bears. Its inflammatory effects cause the eyes to close, taking away vision.
This temporary blindness allows officers to more easily restrain subjects and permits people in danger to use pepper spray in self-defense for an opportunity to escape. It also causes temporary discomfort and burning of the lungs which causes shortness of breath.
You may use or carry pepper spray anywhere in Indiana except in ‘sensitive’ areas such as a courthouse or airport. It is a crime to use pepper spray offensively.
Personal Alarms are Legal in Indiana
When you think of a self-defense weapon an alarm may not be the first thing that comes to mind but believe me a personal alarm is one of the best self-defense weapons that you can have! This isn’t an ordinary alarm.
A personal alarm is more produces a sound of more than 100 decibels. That’s louder than a jackhammer! Trust me when I say it’s shrill and loud. You wouldn’t want this alarm sounding in your ear. Also, causing a scene by making a lot of noise is a great tool to defend yourself against any surprise attack whether it be a mugger or purse snatcher. Read about an old woman whose life was saved by a personal alarm.
Tactical Pens are Legal in Indiana
A tactical pen is essentially a hidden self-defense tool. What better way to hide a defense weapon other than in plain sight. It can be used for writing, stopping someone by causing a minor wound, breaking things and even breaking glass if you use it well.
The tactical pens were created for people who don’t want to use a gun for self-defense and wish to have some useful things that can potentially become a weapon. You can get the Ape Survival Multi-Use Tactical pen for free here. It’s a screw diver, hexa-wrench, flashlight, and glass breaker, and yes it actually writes. And of course, it’s legal in the Hoosier state.