How to apply for arms licence in India

हिंदी में पढ़ें
August 15, 2022
By Advocate Chikirsha Mohanty

Gun ownership in India is a 'privilege' under the Arms Act of 1959 which allows civilians to procure a license if they can prove that there exists a threat to their life. The process of applying for a license for the same is a long and tedious procedure and an expensive one too!

Connect with an expert lawyer for your legal issue

What is the procedurefor applying for an Arms license in India?

1. Application to the Authority

An application for the grant of license is made to the licensing authority and is accompanied by a fee if any, as may be prescribed. In Delhi, the designated licensing authority is A.D.C.P (Licensing), Delhi. People living in other metros would also need to apply at the office of the local D.C.P (Licensing). For people living in non-metro cities, they would need to apply at the office of their local S.D.M (Sub-Divisional Magistrate).

2. Verification Procedure

On receipt of an application, the licensing authority calls for the report of the Officer in charge of the nearest police station on that application, and such Officer shall send his report within the prescribed time.

This is done basically for the Police verification procedure. They basically check for any criminal record or not and the authenticity of all information declared in the application. Persons with past criminal records are not eligible for arms licenses. In almost all cases a policeman will go to each of the addresses supplied and probably even ask your neighbors about your "moral character".

The applicant must declare all addresses that he/ she has resided at during the last 5 years along with the time period and duration from-to for each address.

A verification report will be requested from the relevant local Police Stations at all the addresses provided by you. This is where most license application files "get lost" in transit.

3. Grant or refusal of the license

The Licensing Authority, after such inquiry, if any, as it may consider necessary, and after considering the report received, shall subject to the provisions of the Act, by order in writing either grant the license or refuse to grant the same.

Consult: Top Documentation Lawyers in India

What are the Important documents required while applying for an Arms license?

There are several documents that are essential in order to obtain an arms license and thereafter acquire a pistol/handgun / shotgun/rifle.

  • Copy of Ration card

  • Election card

  • Last 3 years’ I.T. Returns /challan copy/assessment orders

  • Two character certificates from the responsible citizens from your locality

  • Physical fitness certificate

  • Proof of Educational Qualifications (self-attested copies of certificates. Original should not be submitted along with application).

  • Proof of age (Birth Certificate/school leaving certificate)

  • Supporting documents to justify the need for holding the arm for security or for sports etc.

What is the permitted need for an Arms license in India?

The Purposes of Lawful Firearms Ownership: Target-shooting and for personal protection.

You will have to prove the justifiable reasons for Self – defense. Firearm ownership is not permitted for the purposes of collecting or for hunting of animals for sport or food.

Connect with an expert lawyer for your legal issue

What are the types of guns permitted for use by civilians?

The Arms act 1959, divides the firearm license into two types-

  • Prohibited Bore (PB): It includes automatic & semi-automatic firearms which are prohibited for use by the civil public and only issued by the Government. Itsspecified group of persons is allowed to use such.

  • Non-Prohibited Bore: It includes the remaining type of firearms which do not fall in the above category and are permitted to be issued to the general public by Federal& state governments. However, section 14 of the Act provides that the government may refuse to give a license if it thinks that granting a license will be against public policy or contains a risk to public safety. Thus, it is not obligatory upon the State or Federal Govt to issuegun licenses compulsorily.

Guns permitted for use by civilians are Shotguns, Handguns, and sporting rifles. Civilians can hold a maximum of THREE arms licenses. There is no limitation as to what combination of 3 can be held, so in theory, a person may very well use his three permitted arms licenses to hold: -

1 handgun + 1 shotgun + 1 rifle (which is what most people do, but there is no legal necessity to adhere to this particular combination)
OR 3 handguns
OR 2 handguns + 1 rifle
OR 2 handguns + 1 shotgun
OR 3 rifles
OR 2 rifles + 1 handgun
OR 2 rifles + 1 shotgun
OR 3 shotguns
OR 2 shotguns + 1 handgun
OR 2 shotguns + 1 rifle

Consult: Top Documentation Lawyers in India

What are the Arms license eligibility criteria in India?

The eligibility criteria for procuring an arms license in India varies from state to state, but the following factors remain common to most states and are governed by the arms rules 2016:

1.Citizenship of India which can be proved through documentary evidence. An overseas citizen of India may also be granted a license upon providing proof of his/her permanent place of residence. Further, such licenses can also be obtained by tourists for limited purposes.

2.A minimum of 21 years of age, with the exception in case of a license being obtained for shooting sports by persons above the age of 12 years.

In addition, arms licenses are granted by the authorities for limited purposes which include the following:

1.License for self-defense- persons who due to the nature of their profession, job, business, etc., or otherwise require a firearm to protect their life and/or property. Licenses under this category are also issued to persons in service or who have served in the Defence Forces, Central Armed Police Forces, or the State Police Force and therefore require a firearm to protect their life and/or property.

2.License for the destruction of wild animals which damage crops and/or injure people or cattle – the grant of licenses for this purpose is subject to all the provisions of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, and a person seeking to procure such license has to state the details of the land and cultivation requiring protection as well.

3.Licenses for training and target practice – such licenses are granted to persons between the ages of 12 and 21 upon such applicant furnishing proof of his/her participation in sports shooting events. Further, such persons are only permitted to use a firearm under the immediate presence and/or supervision of an adult instructor.

4.License for sport shooting associations – under this category, licenses can be obtained by any sports shooting club or military mess affiliated to the respective state rifle association or the national rifle association.

5.License for shooting ranges – such licenses can be obtained by both indoor and outdoor shooting ranges and their grant is subject to the applying shooting ranges meeting the technical and security stands specified by the government in this regard.

6.License for accredited trainers – shooting trainers can obtain licenses under this category for becoming accredited trainers upon passing an exam and undergoing requisite training in this regard.

7.License to museums – museums can seek licenses for lawfully displaying firearms for the public and are required to meet a plethora of requirements laid down under the arms rules to be granted a such license.

8.License for arms and ammunition for theatrical, film, or television productions – licenses granted for such purpose are subject to the restriction that no live ammunition can be used for firearms under such license.

9.License for acquisition, possession, and export but not use to tourists visiting India – tourists may also be granted arms licenses in India for the sole purpose of acquisition, possession, and export but the license does not permit the use of such firearms by tourists. Further, these licenses cannot be granted for the export of arms that fall under the definition of ‘antiquity’ under the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972.

10.License to international sports persons for participating in shooting events held in India – These licenses are granted to sports persons participating in shooting events organized by any organization which is recognized by the Indian Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, Government of India.

11.License for legal heirs of licensees -this permits legal heirs of licensees to apply for a license upon the demise of the licensee or upon the licensee attaining the age of 70 years or on holding the firearm for a period of 25 years, whichever is earlier.

Connect with an expert lawyer for your legal issue

What is the price for Arms / Gun license in India?

In India, license fee at the time of grant of Handguns (i.e. Revolvers / Pistols, both restricted or permissible), Centrefire rifles, breach loading center fire rifles, 0.22 bore rim-fire rifles, smooth bore breach loading shotguns and Air Weapons (including air rifles and air guns) is Rs. 1000. Renewal fee for each subsequent year for the weapons mentioned above varies between Rs. 500-2000 and renewal fee for 3 years varies from Rs. 1500-3000.

Acquiring & Purchasing of Weapon after Issue of Arms License

Once the arms license is acquired from the appropriate authority, the weapon can be purchased from any authorized dealer or licensee.

Prices for different weapons vary. Approximate prices for the following guns have been stated below:

  • 0.32” Revolver MK-III - Rs. 65,000 (excluding taxes)

  • 0.32″ Revolver (Long Barrel) (ANMOL) - Rs. 87,500 (excluding taxes)

  • 0.32″ Revolver MK-III(L) (Nirbheek) - Rs. 97,000 (excluding taxes)

  • 0.32″ Revolver (MK-IV) - Rs. 68,000 (excluding taxes)

  • 0.32″ Pistol - Rs. 70,000 (excluding tax)

  • 0.22″ Sporting Rifle - Rs. 38,200 (excluding tax)

  • 0.30-06″ Sporting Rifle - Rs. 86,250 (excluding taxes)

  • ?0.315″ Sporting Rifle - Rs. 56,100(excluding taxes)

  • 0.22″ Revolver - Rs. 40,900 (excluding taxes)

  • 0.22″ Revolver NIDAR - Rs. 40,400(excluding taxes)

  • 0.32 Revolvers/ Pistols - Rs. 40,500 (excluding taxes).


Comments by Users

No Comments! Be the first one to comment.

These guides are not legal advice, nor a substitute for a lawyer
These articles are provided freely as general guides. While we do our best to make sure these guides are helpful, we do not give any guarantee that they are accurate or appropriate to your situation, or take any responsibility for any loss their use might cause you. Do not rely on information provided here without seeking experienced legal advice first. If in doubt, please always consult a lawyer.

Googling your legal issue online?

The internet is not a lawyer and neither are you.
Talk to a real lawyer about your legal issue.

Popular Documentation Lawyers

Advocate Sunil Kumar Bakshi
Sector-16 , Faridabad
35 years Experience
Advocate Rajeev Nigam
Kanpur Nagar , Kanpur
28 years Experience
Advocate Ravi Jadhav
Koregaon Park , Pune
14 years Experience
Advocate Atulay Nehra
Sector 137 , Noida
10 years Experience

Related Articles

Connect with top Documentation lawyers for your specific issue

Legal Questions Answered by Top Lawyers

Documentation Law Articles

How to Legally change Name in Delhi?

How to Legally change Name in Mumbai?

How to Legally change Name in Bangalore?

How to Apply for a Character Certificate?

User Reviews

LawRato LawRato LawRato LawRato LawRato 4.6 - 25 reviews

is there a time period for gun license?

Swetha on Nov 07, 2022

Can u also tell about eligibility to apply for gun licence? Thanks

Vaibhav on Oct 19, 2022

can I get more than one gun license? Please reply

Narender on Oct 16, 2022

Nicely explained. Please share details about re-applying for a gun license

Prakash on Oct 30, 2022

what to do on refusal of license application?

Ravi on Oct 23, 2022

thanks for the information

Ankush on Oct 30, 2022

good article and easy to understand

Suraj on Nov 22, 2022

very detailed and informative

Vikram on Nov 15, 2022

Understood the subject with clarity.

Neelam on Oct 25, 2022

learned all the basics about the legal issue. Good article. Keep it up.

Nishant on Nov 22, 2022

good article. Very helpful

Neeraj on Nov 01, 2022

needed legal help…whom shall I contact?

Ravinder on Nov 25, 2022

thanks for the info. How can we contact a lawyer?

Nidhi on Nov 01, 2022

It’s a very nice article.

Shravan on Nov 27, 2022

nice article. Good legal advice

Manisha on Nov 26, 2022

informative with the law.

Satya on Nov 09, 2022

I want to know more about this law. Good work

Vijay on Oct 19, 2022

whom to contact for any legal query?

Mahendra on Nov 17, 2022

good work

Ashish on Nov 07, 2022

thanks for the legal advice

Bhaskar on Nov 02, 2022

good article. Can you give some more detail on the issue.

Swapnil on Nov 16, 2022


Aruna on Oct 29, 2022

excellent article. Very informative

Akash on Nov 18, 2022

Gave me a very clear idea of the subject.

Rekha on Oct 21, 2022

Helped a lot in understanding the law.

Suman on Nov 05, 2022