Indiana gun permit denials nearly double in 4 years

As the number of gun permit applications in Indiana has risen during the past few years, so too has the number of background checks and rejections.

The number of Indiana residents whose gun permit requests were denied by State Police has nearly doubled in the past four years amid an increase in permit applications. State officials say the rise in denials also might be attributed to new technology that allows police to be more thorough in screening applicants.

State police last year denied 2,028 gun permit applications statewide, or nearly double the 1,054 applications denied by the agency in 2009.

State police are checking applications even more carefully now that more of them are coming in, Commander of Firearms Lt. Mike Rogers told the Daily Journal. He said the increase in applications has prompted state police to take longer to approve the applications and to make sure all the information is correct.

"We're doing more in-depth investigations to make sure that the people who are supposed to have permits get permits, and the people who are not supposed to have permits don't get them," Rogers said.

Gun permit denials have increased in recent years as new technology allows state police to better find information residents left off their applications, Rogers said. Officials say the most common reason for an application denial is failure to disclose a prior conviction.

Under state law, police will not grant a gun permit to a person with a felony conviction. Gun permit holders also must not have been convicted for a domestic violence crime, must not have a record of being an alcohol or drug abuser and must not have a propensity for violent or emotionally unstable behavior.

Residents who are denied a gun permit will receive a letter in the mail explaining why they were not approved. They can choose to appeal the decision.

"If someone is denied, it isn't the end all," Rogers told the Daily Journal. "When we deny a license, the denial gives that person the opportunity to present information. The process isn't quite that final."

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