How to apply for arms licence in India

हिंदी में पढ़ें
January 06, 2020
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!

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What is the procedure for 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 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 neighbours 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.

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

  • 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 – defence. Firearm ownership is not permitted for the purposes of collecting or for hunting of animals for sport or food.

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

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


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.

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User Reviews

4.7 - 21 reviews

can I get more than one gun license? Please reply

Chetan on Aug 21, 2020

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

Rajiv on Sep 15, 2020

is there a time period for gun license?

Manisha on Sep 11, 2020

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

Gayatri on Sep 15, 2020

what to do on refusal of license application?

Kunal on Sep 05, 2020

Very helpful for my legal case.

Chandra on Sep 21, 2020

solved my queries.

Prashant on Aug 16, 2020

good work. Keep it up

Shashank on Sep 22, 2020

its very helpful on the subject

Shekhar on Sep 16, 2020

Written in a very simple language.

Anup on Sep 02, 2020

I have a case. Who can I contact?

Rajendra on Sep 12, 2020

very informative. Can you tell more about this

Roshan on Aug 25, 2020

can you share your helpline number

Harsha on Aug 16, 2020

Good work with the article.

Kalpana on Sep 19, 2020

very good article. Can you tell me more about the law?

Anju on Aug 24, 2020

needed legal advice…who to call

Kavita on Sep 12, 2020

helpful in understanding the law

Vaibhav on Sep 08, 2020

thank you for the article

Ashish on Aug 19, 2020

Very nice article.

Ravi on Sep 07, 2020


Prateek on Sep 09, 2020

nice legal article.

Anish on Sep 11, 2020