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Indiana constitutional carry law does not change rules for federal background checks on gun purchases

The new law changes permit requirements, but rules requiring a background check did not change.

BEECH GROVE, Ind. — Starting July 1, Hoosiers will no longer need a permit to carry a handgun in Indiana. But that doesn't mean you can just walk into a gun store and buy a handgun without being screened.   

Beech Grove Firearms enjoyed brisk business Tuesday afternoon, a day after Governor Eric Holcomb signed constitutional carry legislation. But store owner Greg Burge, a retired 20-year Indianapolis police officer, does not expect a rush on handgun sales when the law takes effect, or an increase in gun violence.

"Criminals are going to do what criminals were doing last Monday,” said Burge. “They're going to be doing it next Sunday. They don't care. All the permit did was affect the law-abiding taxpayer who wanted to be, quote, legal."

The new law says anyone in Indiana age 18 and older does not need a permit to carry a handgun. The exceptions include convicted felons and people with restraining orders or dangerous mental illness. 

Anyone purchasing a firearm from a dealer still has to go through a federal background check. Gun buyers fill out an ATF form and are screened against a national database at the time of purchase. 

RELATED: Holcomb signs bill repealing handgun permit requirement in Indiana

"They tell us we can proceed you, which then means you would walk out today with the firearm,” said Burge. “They can delay you up to three business days per the Brady Law, or they can also deny you."

Credit: WTHR/Rich Nye

Indiana will still issue handgun permits. They are just not required anymore, which eliminates a second background check with fingerprinting.

RELATED: Indiana lawmakers, police differ on gun permit bill

People wanting to take their handgun out of state should check the laws of those states.

"You get a state that will honor our permit, but they don't honor our constitutional carry,” said Burge. “So if you're going to travel to that state, then you probably, if you're going to take your handgun with you, would want to have the gun permit."

Indiana joins more than 20 other states that allow residents to carry a handgun without a permit.

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