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Procedure For Gun License in India

Guns are important part of many Indian households. Prior to our Independence, India was under the British regime and Guns were the most important weapons.

Gun Powder was invented in China in 9th Century. This invention travelled to many parts of the world. Europe was also fascinated by this discovery. In later years, when people in England started expanding and came to India, they initiated a drive of Changes. The Britishers were more technologically Equipped as compared to Indians. So, in order to fight war against these mighty enemies Indian Kings shifted towards modernised weapons. This is how Guns became an important weapon of Indian Artillery.

India has approximately five civilian firearms per 100 people, making it the 120th most armed country in the world[1].The Laws allowing Civillians to keep Guns have been amended from time to time, owing to the circumstances and rate of crime in the country. The law governing the Arms license during the time of Britishers was the Indian Arms Act, 1878.This act passed during the British India allowed Government to manufacture, sale, possession and carrying of Firearms.[2]

The Indian Arms Act,1959 was passed with stricter rules to ensure proper use of weapons. This Act works with support of Arms Rules, passed in 2016. This Act provides the entire process of getting Gun License in India. The Act allows citizens to get License for only Non-Prohibited Bore Guns.


The Arms Act,1959 and Arms Rules, 2016 lays down a certain procedure which must be followed to procure Gun License. The person applying for the procedure must be of 21 years, at least. They are listed as follows:

  • The first step to start this procedure is to submit an application. The application for getting Gun License is easily available at the office of District Superintendent of Police.
  • In the second step Police will verify all the credentials of the person applying for the license.
  • The third step is the testimony of the people living in the vicinity of the individual. This step is very necessary int his procedure. Through this step, the police ensure that a person is of decent background and will not misuse the Gun, if allotted.
  • After all this procedure, the person is presented before the District Superintendent of the Police and the person is interviewed by him. The main Question asks in the interview is all about the need of the Gun. Self-defence, threat to life and protection from wild animals are the three most common reasons generally stated. All this procedure is carried out in accordance with Section 13(2) of Arms Act,1959.
  • After the interview round, the report is sent by the DSP to the criminal branch and National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).[3]

After following all these steps, if the District Superintendent of Police is satisfied then a person is granted a license to keep a gun.

Now, after getting License for Keeping a Gun, people had to pre-book their orders from the Gun Shops, accordingly. There is a separate procedure for getting Gun from the licensed shops. [4]The Gun License forms are easily available on the Website of Indian Ordnance Factory. The Section 13(1) talks about all the formalities required for getting a gun.[5]


The Sections 35 to 46 of Arms Rules,2016 prescribes certain conditions after which license can be granted. They are as follows:

  • License for the destruction of wild animals which pose threat to human Life and crops.
  • License for training purposes.
  • License for sports shooting association.
  • License for shooting ranges
  • License for accredited trainers
  • License to museums
  • License for use of Guns in films and televisions
  • License to an International shooter, visiting India
  • Acquisition, possession and export of arms by tourists
  • License for firemen free zone
  • License on the ground of self-defence after the person has filed a First Information Report
  • License is also granted to the security guards and security personnels on the ground of Crop protection[6]

On one Gun License, person can hold more than one gun, accordingly.


According to the Arms Act,1959 the License of a gun holder can be revoked under four Conditions. They are as follows:

  • Fabrication of information – The license Holder’s license stands suspended if the information provided by him appears untrue.
  • Necessary for Peace and order
  • The holder of license is prohibited under any statute or act.
  • The License holder is Convicted by the Court[7]

Thus, Arms Act,1959 and Arms Rules,2016 are strict enough to protect the abuse of Gun License. The procedures laid down are quite strict and ensure at their best, that guns are not misused as in other countries like America.










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