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  • Category: Indian Law

    Is a license required for owning and using an air gun in India?

    Planning to purchase an air gun? Find out first what is the law governing the purchase and use of an air gun in India.

    What is an air gun? Is a license required for owning and using an air gun in India? What are the legal criteria to differentiate an air gun from normal guns? Also, in case a license is required, then who is the competent authority to issue such licenses?
  • #138173
    Air gun is also known as pellet gun. Compressed air is stored in it until firing. During firing, gas is been released behind the projectile. A gun that uses compressed air for launching projectiles is known as an air gun. It is used for hunting, plinking. Also used in sports like Olympics. Both air rifles and air pistols propel projectiles made of metal which are usually pellets or BB's. Some of them also propel arrows or darts with feathers mainly seen in competitive games.

    Earlier no license was required to own air gun. India has very strict laws related to guns and recently laws have been made more tighter. It has become difficult for laymen to own gun. Getting a gun license has become time consuming and difficult task. Manufacturing and selling air guns was easily carried out earlier. However, today strict actions will be taken against them who do not own license. Even gun owners have to display their ability through their performance that they are trained and they should carry their guns in holders. Apart from this, they should secure their guns in home in gun lockers.

    Criteria to differentiate air guns from different guns are:-
    1) Closely look at the pellet of air gun. It is made of lead and looks like badminton birdie. This is what differentiates it from different rifles or guns. In its nose, the whole weight is present. This feature of it gives it directional stability.
    2)Other firearms use propellant charge whereas air guns uses compressed gas to propel projectiles.

    Application forms are available in police stations or even can be downloaded. Once filled and all the required documents are attested, it has to be submitted in district police station. Once police are through the inquiry, they submit the same to the SP's in district and Zonal DCP. These people then call the candidate for an interview and if he/she fulfills all the criteria to own an air gun then the same is issued to them. Licensing authorities are District Magistrates and Commissioner of Police.

  • #138190
    An air gun is exempted from getting an arms license subject to certain conditions. Air guns that emit energy less than 20 joules and has a caliber less than 0.177 will not need any license. That would mean an air gun that produces energy more than 20 joules and has a caliber more than 0.177 mm will need you to have a license.

    Also an airgun that looks like a fire arm ( they are called replicas) is treated as a fire arm and you will need to get a license for it.

    Live....and Let Live...!

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