The penal law for the “property” exception (where a License was not required to lawfully carry a handgun) was not well defined before SB 506 was enacted. The statute merely set out that a License was not required to carry “on the person’s property.”
Very few reported appellate cases addressed this exception directly or indirectly. Namely, there was virtually no guidance as to what constituted a “person’s property.”
In previous edition’s of Bryan Ciyou’s books on Indiana firearms’ laws, a conservation analysis was provided and continued through subsequent editions. Under this analysis, “property” would necessarily be “real property”, not personal property such as a motor vehicle.
The “real” property qualifier is still not specifically stated in the statutes, but clear from a matter of statutory construction. These are the legal concepts used to apply statutes in like circumstances.
Also, a person only has a possessory interest in real property by lease or deed. Thus, this conservative approach was the only one that made sense and was prudent for a lawful person who did not possess a License to follow.
For this reason, real property that is “rented” is not a place a person may lawfully be present within this exception. A License would be needed with rented property. Precisely, rented property is not a possessory interest per se under real estate law, but a contractual right, which when and if broken, is subject to monetary damages, not necessarily re-entry into the real property.
Indiana Senate Bill 506 now makes the scope of this exception clearer: A person who lawfully carries a handgun does not need a License to carry a handgun on property “that is legally owned, leased, rented, or otherwise legally controlled by the person.”
Thus, a rental or other place a person may lawfully transport a handgun into, such as a hotel room in the right case (also perhaps falling into the “dwelling exception”), might not require a License under this exception.
In theory, a person does not need a License to carry any lawfully possessed handgun on the property that he or she possesses by deed or by lease for a term of years, or on real property legally controlled under a contractual right. Nevertheless, the more removed a person is from a possessory interest in the real property, the greater the penal risk this creates.
Caution is nevertheless urged and a License is the prudent course.