THE OFFICIAL PROCEDURE IS AS FOLLOWS:-
1. An application for the grant of license shall be made to the licensing authority and shall be in such form, contain such particulars and be accompanied by such fee, if any, as may be prescribed.
NOTE:- You can download the relevant form (FORM A) from the "Download" section of this group.
If you live in Delhi, the designated licensing authority for you would be the A.D.C.P (Licensing), Delhi. His office is at the Defence Colony Police Station, located right next to the Moolchand flyover. The fees for the grant of a fresh license depend on the type arms for which the license is being sought. They are highest for a handgun (pistol/ revolver) & repeating rifle (Rs. 100/-) and the lowest for a Muzzle loading gun (Rs. 10/-). License renewal fees are 50% of the application fee.
The application fee can be deposited in cash along with your application. 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. On receipt of an application, the licensing authority shall call 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 basically means that your application shall be sent for "verification" to your local Police Station (under whose jurisdiction your stated address is). They basically will check if you have a criminal record or not and the veracity 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". Another purpose of this verification is to check whether your stated "NEED" for a gun checks out.
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. The Licensing Authority, after such inquiry, if any, as it may consider necessary, and after considering the report received as mentioned above, shall subject to the provisions of the Act, by order in writing either grant the license or refuse to grant the same.
4. However where the Officer in charge of the nearest police station does not send his report on the application within the prescribed time, the licensing authority may, if it deems fit, make such order, after the expiry of the prescribed time, without waiting for that report.
(A) A license where the license is required-
(i) By a citizen of India in respect of a smooth bore gun having a barrel of not less than twenty inches in length to be used for protection or sport or in respect of a muzzle-loading gun to be used for bona fide crop protection.
(ii) In respect of a point 22 bore rifle or an air rifle to be used for target practice by a member of a rifle club or rifle association licensed by
the Central Government.
(B) A license, if the license authority is satisfied that the person by whom the license is required has a good reason for obtaining the same.
HELPFUL TIPS FOR INCREASING THE CHANCES OF SUCCESS WITH YOUR APPLICATION
Documents to be furnished along with the application form are proof of address and proof of date of birth - plus any other documents that the
applicant wishes to submit in support of proving his/ her stated "NEED" for a gun.
Need for a Gun license
Reason for applying for a gun permit must be clearly stated in the application. Purposes of Lawful Firearms Ownership: Target-shooting,
protection of person or property and private security. Firearm ownership is not permitted for the purposes of collecting or for hunting of animals for sport or food.
In Delhi the Police have a tendency of denying licenses if your stated need is "protection of person or property and private security", unless you can "show cause" in terms of a justifiable and real threat to life or property. Their logic is that Delhi is a well policed city and you don't really need a gun for self-defence. You will also be (almost certainly) asked to produce income proof documents in such cases.
If your stated "NEED" is Target-shooting. For this, at the very MINIMUM you must sign up with the local rifle club - in Delhi this would be the Delhi State Rifle Association. Not sure what the current fee is. Members of Rifle Clubs applying for a .22 Rifle license (to be used for target practice) have a very good success rate.
Area of License Validity
Typically the licensing authority may issue a license of validity only in the particular district or the entire state. Licenses which are valid
nationally (across all states) are issued in relatively few cases, and then too only upon furnishing valid reason/ need. I would suggest, one should first try and get a license which is valid in ones home state or even district, and then worry about extending the area of validity - better chances of success.
Type of Gun
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
BASICALLY any combination of THREE you so desire - this is of course theoretical, you would still need to convince the licensing authority of your stated NEED for each additional arms license you apply for!
For members of accredited/ recognised rifle associations/ shooting clubs, in addition to the (above mentioned) max permissible limit of 3 arms licenses, they are permitted to own 1 additional .22 cal rifle for the purpose of target shooting - thereby taking their total allowance of arms licenses to FOUR.
Competition shooters who have achieved the status of "renowned shot" are exempted from the above provisions, details of the relevant notifications pertaining to them (i.e. "renowned shots") can be found at http://www.nrai.in/notifications.html for further details.
In official parlance these weapons are classified as:
- NPB RIFLE - If you are applying for a .315, .30-06 etc. rifle they would fall in this category, so this is what you need to fill out in the form.
- NPB DBBL GUN (Double Barrel Breech Loading Gun) - A double barrel smooth bore gun (shotgun) with a barrel of not less than twenty inches in length. (12 bore/ 16 bore etc. double barrel shotguns)
- NPB SBBL GUN (Single Barrel Breech Loading Gun) - A single barrel smooth bore gun (shotgun) with a barrel of not less than twenty inches in length, even pump-action shotguns fall under this category. (12 bore/ 16 bore etc. single barrel shotguns)
- NPB DBML GUN (Double Barrel Muzzle Loading Gun)
- NPB SBML GUN (Single Barrel Muzzle Loading Gun)
- NPB PISTOL/ REVOLVER - If you are applying for a .32, .30 etc. pistol or revolver license, this is what you need to fill out in the form.
NPB stands for - Non Prohibited Bore. I won't talk about PB (Prohibited Bore) weapons here, since it's next to impossible to get a license for them.
Hmm... OK just a short note on PB firearms...
1. Bolt action or semi-automatic rifles of either .303 (British) or 7.62x51mm (NATO) bore or of any other bore which can chamber and fire service ammunition of .303 or 7.62 mm calibre; While the 7.62 NATO round is NOT identical (different headspace and chamber pressure specs) to the .308 Winchester round - it can potentially be an uphill task convincing the licensing authorities of this.
2. Revolvers, pistols or carbines of any bore which can chamber .380" (actual bullet diameter is ~ .357") and .455" rimmed cartridges or service 9mm or .45 rimless cartridges. FYI the "service" cartridges being referred to above are:
1. .38 S&W Long (rimmed revolver cartridge) aka .380/200 AND NOT the .38 Special or .357 magnum which are non-prohibited bores.
2. .455 Webley (rimmed revolver cartridge)
3. 9mm Luger/ 9mm parabellum cartridge - but the 9mm kurz/ 9mm short/ .380 cal and the .38 super pistol ammo is perfectly cool as those are classified as non-prohibited bore
4. .45 ACP (rimless pistol cartridge)
3. Long-guns (shotguns & rifles) which are capable of semi-automatic fire/ self loading types are also classified as prohibited bore weapons and their licensing is severely restricted.
4. Shotguns with barrels shorter than 20 inches are also classified as prohibited bore firearms.
For more details on what constitute Prohibited Bores (calibres) please see - the Arms Rules, 1962 - Schedule I - categories I(b) and I(c).
Also refer to the Arms Act 1959 - Section 2 - Sec. 2(1) (i) and Sec. 2(1) (h) - These refer to Prohibited arms and ammunition BUT NOT prohibited bores which are have been explicitly defined under Schedule I of the Arms Rules as mentioned above.
NOTE:- Weapons that are capable of fully automatic fire are classified as prohibited weapons and permits for these are NOT issued to civilians - as for that matter cannons, rocket launchers, grenades, weapons capable of shooting noxious gases etc.
Amount of Permitted Ammunition
Amount of ammunition that is permitted to be purchased at one time and during each calendar year is clearly mentioned on the arms license.
Typically permits are made out for 25/ 50 - that is, 25 rounds can be purchased at one time subject to a maximum of 50 in a year. It is not
uncommon to see permits of 50/ 100 also. But permits for higher quantities like 2,500/ 5,000 or 5,000/ 10,000 or unlimited are usually issued only to sports persons who have participated in state/ national level competitions and have gotten to at least a basic level of achievement.
I would recommend one should apply for 50/100 or 250/500 to start off with. If you later feel the need for a larger quota, you can always apply for an increase (along with supporting documentation).
Can't think of anything else right now... download the form and start the process.
Wish you luck!