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!
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).
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.
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.
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.
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