Indiana DNR Eliminates Handgun Restrictions

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Hoosiers with valid handgun licenses are now allowed to carry those firearms when under DNR jurisdiction, effective immediately, as the result of four temporary rule modifications signed by Director Kyle Hupfer.

"This corrects an inconsistency with DNR rules and the law of the land almost everywhere else in Indiana," Hupfer said. "I appreciate the Governor's support to bring this in line with statewide gun policy."

"These changes, which we hope become permanent, make it clear to everyone that nothing in DNR rules should restrict law-abiding citizens who have met all legal requirements and obtained a valid handgun license from exercising their constitutional rights," Hupfer said.

Specifically, the first change allows handgun-licensed individuals on DNR properties to carry a handgun. The other three changes involve hunting activities on both private and public land. Those with handgun licenses will now be able to carry such firearms when hunting wild turkeys or when hunting deer with a bow and arrow. Similarly, handgun-licensed individuals will be able to carry a handgun when running dogs for opossum and raccoon during chasing season. Previously, DNR rules prohibited carrying licensed handguns in these instances.

"There is no reason that law-abiding citizens should lose a means of personal protection and the protection of their family solely because they choose to hunt or visit a DNR property."

Hupfer will now submit the rule to the Natural Resource Commission (NRC) for consideration for permanent adoption.

By state law, the DNR director has authority to temporarily modify rules for the DNR. Such modifications are valid for a maximum of one year and can be renewed for an additional period not to exceed one year. In order for any DNR rule modification to become permanent, it must be approved by the NRC after successfully passing through a rigorous review process, including a public hearing that is set by state statute. Once a rule becomes permanent, it has indefinite legal application but must undergo "sunset" evaluation every seven years.