Indianapolis, IN - The Indiana State Police Department is responsible for issuing licenses to carry a handgun to citizens of Indiana that request a license. The Department is required to issue or deny the request - stating the denial cause - within 60 days from the time an application is submitted. Efforts to meet the time frame requirement have not been met due to a significant rise in the number of requests for handgun licenses. This is attributable to the number of shootings across the country, coupled with national news stories debating more restrictive gun laws.
Historically, applications received for a license to carry a handgun averaged around 5,200 per month, but increased dramatically toward the end of 2012. January of 2013 resulted in more than 23,000 application requests being submitted to the state police. The level of demand has marginally decreased in the months that followed, falling to just over 6,500 new license requests in June. However, the overall monthly increase has led to a substantial backlog in applications, pushing processing time to more than 110 days.
To eliminate the backlog, Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter ordered a thorough evaluation of the procedures involved to issue a license to carry a handgun. Based on this comprehensive review, processes are being streamlined and additional personnel have been added to process some 45,000 pending applications. The review process also included plans to address future spikes in application requests. Barring unforeseen circumstances the backlog should be eliminated within eight to ten weeks of July 1st. New license applications received after mid September 2013 are expected to be processed within the required 60 day timeframe.
It is important to note that during the seven months from December of 2012 through June of 2013, the state police received 91,940 applications for a license to carry a handgun. To offer a point of contrast, for all of 2012 there were 62,934 applications received and processed, which resulted in the issuance of 60,906 new handgun licenses.
To decrease processing time of applications the state police encourage all applicants to submit their application and fingerprints electronically. While all applications are required to be electronically submitted there is an option to submit fingerprints that are either hand rolled or scanned onto paper print cards, or prints that are electronically recorded and immediately emailed to the Indiana State Police for verification and processing. Applications submitted with hand rolled or scanned fingerprints take about two weeks longer to process than the electronically transferred fingerprints.
Superintendent Carter and the Indiana State Police are dedicated to meeting the required time frame to issue or deny a license to carry a handgun. We deeply regret the inconvenience far too many Hoosiers have experienced with this process. Members of the state police are working diligently to resolve this backlog and provide Hoosiers with the level of service they have come to expect from the Indiana State Police.
Factors that add to increased processing time:
• Applications that are incomplete
• Submission of hand rolled or scanned fingerprints instead of electronic fingerprints
• Incomplete Criminal History information that has to be confirmed
• Common names with Criminal History information that must to be verified
Applications for License to Carry a Handgun received, by month, from December 2012 to June of 2013:
• Dec 2012: 13,954
• Jan 2013: 23,079
• Feb 2013: 15,945
• Mar 2013: 12,204
• Apr 2013: 11,397
• May 2013: 8,848
• Jun 2013: *6,513
• Seven Month Total: 91,940
* June number not final, subject to change
Issued Licenses to Carry a Handgun from 2009 to 2012
• 2009: 98,639
• 2010: 79,027
• 2011: 61,595
• 2012: 60,906
At the beginning of July 2013 there were 493,205 active licenses to carry a handgun, of which 392,520 were issued to men and 100,685 were issued to women. To see previous reports that reflect quarterly comparisons of active handgun licenses by county and gender of the license holder, please visit this site: http://www.in.gov/isp/2963.htm
The state police remind media and the public that specific information about who possesses a license to carry a handgun is not a public record. The state police will not confirm or deny if a specific citizen possesses a license to carry a handgun.
For more information on the license to carry a handgun application process, inclusive of how to file electronic fingerprints, please visit this site: http://www.in.gov/isp/2828.htm