How to obtain a Gun License in India

Step-by-Step: How to get a Gun License in India (2022)?

This article on ‘How can you get a Gun license in India?‘ was written by Ankita Kumari, an intern at Legal Upanishad.

Introduction

The Arms Act, 1959, and the Arms Rules, 1962 govern the idea of a gun license in India. Obtaining a gun license in India is not an easy task to deal with. These Acts outline a complicated and expensive process for residents to obtain a license to own firearms. The scope of the permit or license varies depending on the firearms or activities that it entitles the holder to legally engage in with the firearm, although, in the event of a serious threat to their lives, this Act enables citizens to obtain a gun permit.

This article will assist you in comprehending what a gun license is, who is eligible to apply for one, and how the application process works in India.  

What is a Gun license?

A gun license in India is a document that grants the holder permission to purchase, possess, own, or carry a handgun, usually with certain limitations. It is normally granted by the local police. NPB (Non- prohibited bore) or PB (prohibited bore) are two different types of licenses that the Indian Arms Act permits. Under Chapters II and III of the Arms Act of 1959, any civilian may request to own an NPB by following the proper procedures. Pistols (9 mm) and handguns in the .38, .455, and .303 rifle calibers are examples of prohibited bore weapons. Prohibited bore weapons are only issued to defense personnel.[1]

A license to possess a firearm is valid for three years from the date it is granted and must be renewed no later than one month before it expires. The gun license may also be provided for a shorter period, at the authority’s discretion or if the party requiring the license so requests it.

Who is eligible to apply for a gun license in India?

Obtaining a gun license in India is a matter of state level. However, a Prohibited bore can only be issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs or Central Government.

NCB (non- prohibited bore) is issued to the civil public, if:

  • He must be a person of Indian Nationality
  • He has attained the age of 21 years and in the case of a “junior target shooter,” the person must be 16 years old.
  • He must be a person of sound mind.
  • He must have a justified reason to hold a gun license. Self-defense, General security, sports shooting, and crop protection are some of the reasons for which a person can seek to have a permit for a gun.
  • The applicant should have no history of criminal conduct of any type.

Prohibited bore can only be provided by the central authority to specific populations. Fully automatic and semi-automatic weapons, pistols (9 mm), and handguns in the.38, .455, and.303 rifle caliber, etc., are included in the category of “Prohibited Bore” (PB).  Only the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Central Government, may provide an arms license for any firearm listed in the category of the prohibited bore. This occurs after the State Home Ministry makes a recommendation. The above-mentioned firearm types are not “really prohibited,” but rather should be regarded as “highly restricted firearms”.[2]

How to obtain a Gun License in India
How to obtain a Gun License in India?

Procedures to get a Gun license in India:

  1. The application submission process is the first stage. The district superintendent of police for the relevant state is where one can obtain an application form. A person can also submit the application form online.
  2. Following receipt of the application, the police will investigate any prior instances of criminal conduct and determine whether the provided address is accurate.
  3. There are many ways to learn more about someone who wants to purchase a gun, including asking the people in the area or neighborhood if they have witnessed any malevolent behavior or if the person has ever gotten into fights out of rage.
  4. To know, whether a person who is seeking to hold a gun permit is mentally sound or not, the DCP interviews the person. The DCP submits the reports to the crime branch and the national crime record bureau after the interview.
  5. After completing all of these stages and satisfying the DCP with the necessary information, a civilian may obtain a license to own firearms.
  6. After receiving a gun license, the applicant must speak with the dealer to purchase the firearm. To purchase the firearm from any authorized retailer of their choice, the client must place a pre-order.

Renewal of gun license:

Holders of arms licenses may submit a written application to the respective district magistrate for renewal. Ensure that the candidate is qualified to apply.

Suspension and revocation of gun license in India:

Suspension and revocation of a gun license both are separate terms and have different consequences. Although the grounds for suspension and revocation are the same, the licensing authority has the discretion to determine whether to suspend or revoke the license based on the specific facts of the case. To maintain order and peace, false information, and breach of condition are some of the grounds which determine the suspension or revocation of a gun permit.

Licensing authority has the power to suspend the gun permit for a specified period, on the grounds provided under the act but the order of suspension only reaches its finality, when the aggrieved party gets an opportunity of being heard and his obligations if any, adjudicated.

In a case, Ajay Jayawant Bhosle v. the State of Maharashtra, the high court of Bombay held that the provisions of Section 17 of the Arms Act would not be used simply because a criminal case is ongoing. If the licensing authority decides that a license’s continuation would be harmful to the public’s safety and security, such provisions would apply.[3]

Conclusion:

Obtaining a gun license in India falls under the ambit of the Arms Act, 1959 and the Arms Rules, 1962. The Arms Act, 1959 and the Arms Rules, 1962 seek to minimize the use of illegal firearms and the associated crimes. Civilians are only allowed to get the license of Non- prohibited bore for self-defense, general security, or any other factors which are valid under the purview of licensing authority. A gun license in India grants civilians a right to hold, possess, own, or carry a firearm under certain limitations provided under the Act.


References

[1] Lawfully legal. (2022 May 09). What are the Non-Prohibited bore laws In India? Retrieved: https://lawfullylegal.com/what-are-the-non-prohibited-bore-laws-in-india/

[2] Mundaire. (2006, Sep 28).  Prohibited Bore calibers & firearms. Retrieved: https://indiansforguns.com/viewtopic.php?t=2780 

[3] Judgments in criminal law. (2019, 10 April).  Mere registration of criminal case could not be a ground to revoke Arms license: Bombay HC. Retrieved: https://judgementsincriminallaw.wordpress.com/2019/04/10/mere-registration-of-criminal-case-could-not-be-a-ground-to-revoke-arms-license-bombay-hc-2/

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