India has a very strict gun control law, known as the Arms Act of 1959, that curbs the possession and usage of arms and ammunition. The Act is divided into six different chapters and the third chapter clearly specifies the provisions related to gun license in India. Citizens who require a weapon have to procure a license after submitting an application form (plus fees) at the nearest police station. The State Police department investigates the credentials of the applicants, and gun licenses are granted or refused by the concerned authorities.
Gun License in India
Who needs a gun license in India?
A gun license in India is mandatory for civilians who want to carry different types of weapons such as the shotgun, long gun, or sporting rifle. The eligible citizens have issued the gun license only for non-prohibited bore or NPB category of guns. Eligibility is determined by the State Police or Magistrate on the basis of reasons specified in the application form.
Legal purposes for possession or ownership of firearms include target shooting, private security, and protection of person or property from criminals or wild animals. The onus of convincing the authorities regarding the authenticity of the “threat perception” lies with the applicant, and an FIR complaint at the nearest police station is accepted as proof.
The gun license in India is however granted only for a fixed period of time, and the gun owners have to submit a renewal form, before or after the expiry date, for extension of ownership/possession.
Documents Required for Gun License in India
Gun license in India is granted by District Magistrate (DM) or Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) only to the eligible applicants. The procedure is tedious, and the applicant has to submit a proper application form using the following documents-
- Personal Details: Name, Date of Birth, Permanent Address, Email ID, Mobile, etc.,
- ID Proof Documents: Voter ID, Aadhar Card, Passport, Driving License, Ration Card.
- Academic Qualifications: Self-attested certificates as proof of Date of Birth, School/ College/ PG degree, or other higher educational qualifications.
- Income Certificates: Bank Account Passbook, PAN Card, Income Tax Returns, Assessment Orders, Challan Copies, Demat Account, etc.,
- Character Certificates from the reputed organization, Government (GO/NGO) officials, or other responsible citizens in the neighborhood.
- Physical Fitness Certificate, Sports, Gym, or Athletic Club memberships, etc.,
- Other supporting documents that justify the necessity of gun license in India as proof of security threat or sporting requirements.
Procedure to Get a Gun License in India
Possession of weapons and ammunition is a huge responsibility and citizens are granted or rejected a gun license in India as per law. The following procedure is adopted by the State or Central Government authorities in this regard –
The applicant has to contact the designated licensing authority in their respective taluka, Mandal, city, district, or State. The authority is usually the police station, and the application forms and fee details are also available with them. Fixed format application forms can also be downloaded from the official portal of the respective licensing authorities. The applicant has to submit the filled in application form and all other mandatory documents. Supporting documents have the power of strengthening the applicant’s case, and so the appropriate reasons for gun license in India have to be specified.
The credentials of the applicant are carefully investigated by the local police authorities. The details of the application form are tallied with the actual world realities, and the police also gather information from neighbors and friends. The applicants should ideally not have a record of criminal activity or reports of malicious behavior at home or office. The physical and mental fitness of the candidate is also very essential, and the police may mention such details in the report sent to higher authorities.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police (DSP) or Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) interviews the applicant and extracts information related to causes, events, and reasons that necessitated an application form for the gun license in India.
Finally, the licensing authority at the level of CP or DM grants or refuses the gun license to the applicant. The crime branch and national crime bureau are usually consulted for further verification of applicant’s credentials. The gun license in India is granted only for a fixed period of time, and the licensee can procure or purchase only a permissible gun or weapon. If the gun owner wants to extend the possession or ownership of firearms, then renewal is mandatory after the expiry date.