How To Buy A Gun Legally In India?

Written by: Kaushik Jethva

Last Updated: June 10, 2023

revolvers and pistols lying on a table
Revolvers and Pistols lying on a table

In a country where it’s not easy to own guns, it’s important to understand how the process of buying firearms works. Whether you enjoy shooting as a sport, want to feel secure, or are just curious about how it all works, this guide is here to help.

Guns can be controversial, but this blog aims to provide factual information rather than opinions. We’ll look at the laws, requirements, and steps involved in how to buy a gun legally in India. By the end, you’ll clearly understand the rules, regulations, and things to consider when purchasing a gun.

So get ready to learn, keep an open mind, and let’s explore the process of buying firearms legally in India together.

1 Understanding Firearm Laws in India:

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Handgun Carry License Application Form

The Indian Arms Act of 1959 and the Indian Arms Rules 1962 primarily govern the possession and carriage of firearms, including handguns, in India. This law was designed to control the use, manufacture, sale, import, export, and transfer of firearms. Unlike some countries where gun ownership is a right, in India, it is a privilege under the law. The Central Government regulates the Arms Act, and it’s important to fully understand these laws before initiating the process of buying a gun.

2 Types of Firearm Licenses

Before diving into how to buy a gun legally in India, it is essential to understand the types of firearm licenses available. There are three categories: A non-Prohibited Bore License (N-PB), Prohibited Bore License (PB), and a temporary Firearm License. A Non-Prohibited Bore License permits the holder to own firearms other than those classified as prohibited. In contrast, a Prohibited Bore License is only issued under very rare and specific circumstances, often related to national security. The Temporary Firearm License is valid for three months and allows the licensee to keep, carry, or transport firearms.

3 Eligibility

Indian citizens who are 21 years or older are eligible to apply for a firearm license. However, the licensing authority will also consider several other factors, like criminal history, mental health, and safe storage facilities for the firearm. The authority may also consider the person’s employment and the threat level to their life before granting a license.

4 Steps to Buy a Gun Legally in India:

Step 1: Preliminary Application

handgun permit application form
Handgun Permit Application Form

The first step in the process of how to buy a gun legally in India involves filling out an application form. This form is available at the District Superintendent’s office or can be downloaded online from the state police’s official website. You’ll need to provide personal details, employment information, reasons for needing a firearm, and other relevant information.

Step 2: Background Check

background check form
Background check form

Once the application is submitted, the police will conduct a thorough background check. This includes verifying personal details, assessing mental health, and checking for any criminal records. The police also interview the applicant and their neighbours or colleagues to determine their character and reputation.

Step 3: Inspection of Premises

Next, the police will inspect the premises where the firearm will be stored. They will check to ensure that the applicant has a safe, secure place to store the firearm when it’s not in use.

Step 4: Approval/Rejection

After the inspection, the police send a detailed report to the licensing authority. The authority then reviews the report, and either approves or rejects the license application. If the application is rejected, the applicant has the right to appeal to higher authorities.

Step 5: Buying a Firearm

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Different firearms and guns kept in display in a store

Once the license is approved, the person is legally allowed to buy a firearm. The purchase can be made from an authorised arms dealer. The firearm’s details, including make, model, and serial number, are recorded on the license.

Step 6: Verification of Firearm

After the purchase, the firearm is presented to the local police station, where it is verified against the details recorded on the license.

Step 7: Registration of Firearm

Post verification, the firearm is registered with the local police station and is now legal to be owned and carried within the stipulations of the license.

5 Renewal and Transfer

The license for firearm possession in India is valid for three years, post which it needs to be renewed. A fee is charged for renewal, and you need to submit an application to your local police station. If you fail to renew your license on time, you may have to pay penalties, or it could even lead to the confiscation of your firearm.

In case you want to transfer your firearm to another person, it’s essential to notify the licensing authority. The new owner must have a valid firearm license, and the transfer must be approved by the appropriate authorities.

It’s crucial to remember that owning a firearm comes with significant responsibilities. You must store your firearm securely, out of reach of children and other unauthorised people. Furthermore, it’s illegal to carry a firearm in a public place without a valid reason, even if you have a license.

Owning a firearm also requires an understanding of the legal obligations and potential liabilities associated with its use. In particular, the use of a firearm in self-defence must be proportionate to the threat faced. Improper or irresponsible use of a firearm can result in severe legal penalties, including imprisonment.

7 Wrapping Up

Buying a gun legally in India is a multi-step process that involves background checks, personal interviews, and official verifications. It’s a process designed to ensure that only responsible individuals are granted the privilege of firearm ownership. Understanding this process is vital for anyone considering owning a firearm in India.

By following the information provided in this guide, you’ll have a clearer understanding of “how to buy a gun legally in India”. It is essential to remember that owning a firearm is a serious responsibility with both moral and legal implications. Always treat this responsibility with the respect it deserves.

If you are interested to learn more about these kind of topics, you can also read our guide on how to apply for International Driving License.

This blog is intended to be a general guide and provide an overview of the process. It’s important to consult with local law enforcement or legal professionals for detailed information related to your specific circumstances. The laws regarding firearm ownership may vary from state to state and are subject to change. It’s crucial to stay updated on the latest laws and regulations.

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About This Article

Kaushik Jethva
Written by: Kaushik Jethva author

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Updated: June 10, 2023
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