Indiana News

Indiana’s lifetime license to carry a gun is now fee-exempt but not free

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana starting Thursday exempted all fees for a lifetime license to carry a handgun, but that does not mean it’s a free license.  

Tracy Lewis is one of the thousands of people around the state getting fingerprinted for a license to carry a gun. Lewis started her application for a five-year license to carry several months ago and had paid the state $75, but she is in luck: Her application with state police expired and she will have to start over.  

“I should get my money back,” Lewis said.

Lewis said since the state fees are exempt, she will apply for a lifetime license. Effective Thursday, the state government has eliminated state fees for the five-year and the lifetime licenses to carry a gun.

Indiana State Police has the administrative duties of processing all licenses. Capt. Ron Galaviz says most of the application is done online, and the process requires a background check and two sets of fingerprints, one for state police and the other for local police.

“So after you start your application and you get it submitted, it is going to offer the opportunity to schedule your fingerprints,” Galaviz said. 

There is a charge for both set of fingerprints. IdentiGO, one of the locations approved by state police, charges $12.50 to get fingerprinted. An appointment is required. On Thursday, IdentiGO had 55 people scheduled for fingerprinting.

Everyone who applies for a license to carry is required to pass a background check from their local police department, which includes fingerprints.

A note: Marion County applicants are required to get their second set of fingerprints taken at the City-County Building. The city government charges $50 for a lifetime license application.  

Kimberly Westbrook of Indianapolis paid her $50 and was told it could be weeks before her license was mailed to her. “For this process, you have to wait like four to six weeks for your actual card to come in the mail.”

Because of the expected demand for lifetime license to carry a gun, state police say it could takes weeks if not months to process all the paperwork and to mail the new license.

When Indiana legislators removed the state fees, they did not cover the fees for fingerprinting and local background checks. Once the license is issued, the state won’t go back and do additional background checks.