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Importing Arms & Ammo into India

The legal aspects of owning, shooting, importing arms/ ammo and other related legal aspects as well as any other legal queries. Please note: This INCLUDES all arms licensing issues/ queries!
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surajshuresh
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Re: Importing Arms & Ammo into India

Postby surajshuresh » Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:34 pm

Well guys i am in the final step in my TR process can anyone tell me what should i do after landing to bangalore how to declare that i have brought a firearm on TR when should i inform the bangalore customs and who will get the firearm to the customs the airlines??? And what documents will the customs ask as i will be depositing it with the customs since i dont have the license and i will come and apply and that to after the election results only... And i will be coming back on 26th...



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arajpathak
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Re: Importing Arms & Ammo into India

Postby arajpathak » Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:10 pm

mundaire wrote:penpusher, while I am not a lawyer, or very conversant with legalese - I do believe that the original Arms Act, allows the government to make sweeping changes, by issuing a simple notification in the official gazette.

AFAIK Arms Rules of 1962 were brought into effect with such a notification, and were not tabled in the Parliament for debate and discussion...

Someone had pointed on the forum (I don't recall who and what post), that the restriction on imports of firearms and ammunition is in the Exim (Export Import) Policy. Would this Exim policy not need to be amended as well?

Cheers!
Abhijeet

P.S. For those simply looking for info on how and under what conditions can arms and/ or ammo be imported into India - please check out the following 'knowledge base' article:

Importing Arms & Ammo into India

Since there have been so many queries regarding this topic - I think it's about time we made it a permanent entry into the knowledge based (Pl. NOTE: this article DOES NOT cover the import of airguns OR pellets, those will be dealt with under a separate article). OK so here goes -

Import of Firearms

As things stand today, there are ONLY TWO ways in which a firearm can be imported into India.

1. Under Transfer of Residence (TR) Rules

(a) You are required to have owned the firearm in your country of residence for a minimum period of ONE YEAR on a VALID firearms permit, prior to your return to India. For those living in the USA, this could either mean a CCW permit OR if your state of residence does not have a CCW policy, you should at the very minimum look at getting a firearm registration and also get a hunting permit of some sort. For those living in UK this would be a Shotgun Certificate Or a Firearm Certificate. Basically you need a piece of govt. paperwork in (your country of residence) acknowledging your LEGAL possession of the firearm.

(b) Each returning citizen is allowed to bring back ONLY ONE firearm - NO relaxations on this whatsoever. Considering the ridiculously steep prices of handguns in India, I would suggest you consider bringing back one of those.

(c) If you do not possess a valid Indian arms license on returning to India, the customs will confiscate the gun and give you a receipt for the same. Now you must go to your local licensing authority and apply for an arms license for the type of gun you have imported. Only once you have procured a valid license for the type of firearm you have imported, will the customs release the firearm and enter it on your license. You would also need to pay applicable duties to the customs.

(d) ALL FIREARMS imported under transfer of residence have a condition entered on the arms license, that they CANNOT be sold/ gifted/ or transferred to ANYONE else for the duration of the NATURAL LIFE of the original importer. So forget about bringing a gun back to gift to your dad/ uncle/ brother etc.

(e) While considering which firearm to import under TR rules, please STAY AWAY from Prohibited Bore (PB) calibres and firearms - since obtaining a license for them in India would be next to impossible. For what constitutes a PB calibre/ firearm, please see the relevant article under the Legal section of the "Knowledge Base" here.

2. By a "Renowned shot"

(a) Import permits are ONLY issued to civilians who have attained the status of "Renowned shooter", till last year it used to be limited only to the top 25 shooters in each event, subject to minimum 30 shooters competing in that particular event. If the number of shooters was less than 30, then 50% of the total participants were declared as "Renowned Shooters". Currently this status is awarded to any shooter who achieves the MQS (minimum qualifying score) at the National Shooting Championship Competition (NSCC).

(b) Renowned shooters do not have to pay any duty on the arms or ammunition that they import.

(c) This status is certified by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) which is under the Min. of Sports, and is valid only for 1 year. The renowned shot may ONLY import ONE (pre-approved target grade models of) firearms for the particular discipline in which he archived renowned shot status. He/ she may also apply for and be given permission for direct import of up 15,000 rounds of ammo for that class of firearm.

(d)There is an article on indianshooting.com covering this entire process.

Import of Ammunition

(a) Up to 50 rounds of ammo may be imported as part of baggage (by an Indian resident returning from overseas) PROVIDED that the person importing this ammunition holds a VALID Indian arms license to possess a firearm (for that calibre ammunition).

(b) There is of course going to be the airline to contend with, every airline has it's own set of rules regarding how much ammo can be checked in by a passenger and in what manner it has to be checked in, forms to be filled out etc. So check with your airline prior to making these arrangements.

(c) If in the country of departure you do not possess a valid permit to legally possess the type of ammunition you plan to purchase (& import into India) - then you would need to have the arms dealer "consign to the airline". Basically the dealer directly delivers the ammo to the airline, for this there will be a handling fee... firstly for a measly 50 rounds of ammo, most dealers will not bother taking this additional hassle, even if they do - the handling fee is likely to be substantially higher than the cost of 50 rounds of ammo!

More on ammo imports on the thread here - viewtopic.php?t=2532

(d) However as mentioned previously, people who are 'renowned shooters' may import ammunition (duty free), against a valid import permit.

Hope this helps clarify the legal situation - as on date.


Very helpful



Commonwealth_of_PA
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Re: Importing Arms & Ammo into India

Postby Commonwealth_of_PA » Tue May 05, 2015 10:28 pm

mundaire wrote:1. Under Transfer of Residence (TR) Rules

(a) You are required to have owned the firearm in your country of residence for a minimum period of ONE YEAR on a VALID firearms permit, prior to your return to India. For those living in the USA, this could either mean a CCW permit OR if your state of residence does not have a CCW policy, you should at the very minimum look at getting a firearm registration and also get a hunting permit of some sort. For those living in UK this would be a Shotgun Certificate Or a Firearm Certificate. Basically you need a piece of govt. paperwork in (your country of residence) acknowledging your LEGAL possession of the firearm.


I don't think this is possible in the USA in most cases. Most states do not have any firearms registration and I believe there are only a few states (if any) that list the firearms on a CCW. Honestly, you can't even beg the government to find a way to prove you legally own a firearm in most states. They have no procedure for doing so and no way to know.



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nagarifle
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Re: Importing Arms & Ammo into India

Postby nagarifle » Wed May 06, 2015 6:36 am

what the customs here want to see a bill of sale as proof and not much interested in a licence.


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Re: Importing Arms & Ammo into India

Postby goodboy_mentor » Wed May 06, 2015 5:23 pm

Commonwealth_of_PA wrote:I don't think this is possible in the USA in most cases. Most states do not have any firearms registration and I believe there are only a few states (if any) that list the firearms on a CCW. Honestly, you can't even beg the government to find a way to prove you legally own a firearm in most states. They have no procedure for doing so and no way to know.
Are firearms not registered at federal level in USA? Those states that have firearm registration or CCW, what is the mechanism used to prevent the government from knowing the identifying details of firearm owner? Any sample laws so that they can be read?


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Commonwealth_of_PA
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Re: Importing Arms & Ammo into India

Postby Commonwealth_of_PA » Wed May 06, 2015 8:52 pm

goodboy_mentor wrote:
Commonwealth_of_PA wrote:I don't think this is possible in the USA in most cases. Most states do not have any firearms registration and I believe there are only a few states (if any) that list the firearms on a CCW. Honestly, you can't even beg the government to find a way to prove you legally own a firearm in most states. They have no procedure for doing so and no way to know.


Are firearms not registered at federal level in USA?


No, except for NFA firearms (machineguns, silencers, short barrel rifles, short barrel shotguns).

Those states that have firearm registration or CCW, what is the mechanism used to prevent the government from knowing the identifying details of firearm owner? Any sample laws so that they can be read?


I'm not sure I understand the question. I think there are 8 states (out of 50) that have some sort of firearm registration.

If a state issues a CCW then they would know the person on the CCW, but they would not know what guns they own or even if they owned guns at all unless that state also registered some firearms. Note that of the ~8 states that register firearms, most do not require registration of all firearms (such as long arms).



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Re: Importing Arms & Ammo into India

Postby goodboy_mentor » Thu May 07, 2015 11:10 am

Commonwealth_of_PA wrote:I'm not sure I understand the question.
The paramount premise in doctrine of 2nd Amendment is that the lawful arms with citizens are sine qua non or inalienably required for "security of free State". "security of free State" includes lack of traceability of lawful arms even from government, since government can never ensure or give a written bond that interests inimical to "security of free State" will never be able to or is for ever impossible for them to get access to such consolidated database or information for purpose of mass confiscations. Since doctrine of 2nd Amendment is part and parcel of all British Common Law countries, same applies to Indian Constitution as well as Indian Arms Act 1959. It is implicitly getting reflected in Section 42 of Arms Act 1959. I was looking for more elaboration on this doctrine. Don't know if found a sample law but looks like I have found it under 18 U.S. Code § 926 - Rules and regulations. It says the following -
No such rule or regulation prescribed after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or dispositions be established. Nothing in this section expands or restricts the Secretary’s [1] authority to inquire into the disposition of any firearm in the course of a criminal investigation.
Source https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/926


"If my mother tongue is shaking the foundations of your State, it probably means that you built your State on my land" - Musa Anter, Kurdish writer, assassinated by the Turkish secret services in 1992

Commonwealth_of_PA
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Re: Importing Arms & Ammo into India

Postby Commonwealth_of_PA » Fri May 08, 2015 12:17 am

goodboy_mentor wrote:
Commonwealth_of_PA wrote:I'm not sure I understand the question.
The paramount premise in doctrine of 2nd Amendment is that the lawful arms with citizens are sine qua non or inalienably required for "security of free State". "security of free State" includes lack of traceability of lawful arms even from government, since government can never ensure or give a written bond that interests inimical to "security of free State" will never be able to or is for ever impossible for them to get access to such consolidated database or information for purpose of mass confiscations. Since doctrine of 2nd Amendment is part and parcel of all British Common Law countries, same applies to Indian Constitution as well as Indian Arms Act 1959. It is implicitly getting reflected in Section 42 of Arms Act 1959. I was looking for more elaboration on this doctrine. Don't know if found a sample law but looks like I have found it under 18 U.S. Code § 926 - Rules and regulations. It says the following -
No such rule or regulation prescribed after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or dispositions be established. Nothing in this section expands or restricts the Secretary’s [1] authority to inquire into the disposition of any firearm in the course of a criminal investigation.
Source https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/926


There are certain laws that have been passed in the US at state and federal level that have included prohibitions on registration because the laws regulated firearms in some (illegal) way and therefore the caveat was added to make the illegal law more palatable.

Neither those laws nor The Second Amendment are the reason in most cases, at least not directly.

I've heard one person ask 'what prevents it' and another show cause to prevent it. I think you are looking at this backwards. Our laws do not allow people to do things. Our laws criminalize specific behavior. If I ask the question, "How come the government hasn't registered your shoes? What is the law preventing them from registering your shoes? What law was passed allowing you to buy shoes without consulting the government?" You would think for a moment that the question was absurd. However, I am sure there are countries, albeit likely few, that regulate the purchase of shoes. And probably some that even register the purchase.

I don't need government permission to buy shoes and I don't have to register them. As for the RTKBA, it is Human Right. It is NOT a right granted by the US government for a specific, practical reason of national security. Those are historic but spurious discussions and largely academic. Every person is born with the right of self defense and to bare arms. If you are born on a desert island there need be no master to give you permission to fashion a spear.

No Amendment in the US Bill of Rights was intended for the purpose of national security. Every single one of them was to leash a powerful federal government from oppressing the Natural Rights of the People and the Rights of the States. The Bill of Rights horrified the States, and the People. Because they thought it limited the rights they retained or suggested these were rights granted by government or for government. And that was the reason that the Ninth Amendment was added, and the now extinct Tenth Amendment.



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Re: Importing Arms & Ammo into India

Postby TwoRivers » Fri May 08, 2015 10:23 am

goodboy_mentor wrote:
Are firearms not registered at federal level in USA? Those states that have firearm registration or CCW, what is the mechanism used to prevent the government from knowing the identifying details of firearm owner? Any sample laws so that they can be read?[/quote]

No. They are not. Buyers (US citizen) have to undergo a federal background check when buying a firearm from a dealer; but there is no federal registration. Persons with a CC permit are exempt from the background check.



Commonwealth_of_PA
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Re: Importing Arms & Ammo into India

Postby Commonwealth_of_PA » Fri May 08, 2015 5:44 pm

To add to what Two Rivers said, that background check is when you buy from a licensed gun dealer ONLY. It is done by phone (or computer) and the agent is told your name (If it is a common name they may need a description of appearance or partial SS#), and whether the firearm is rifle, handgun, or other. No make or model or other information about the firearm is provided.

However, when buying or selling to people that are not licensed gun dealers, there is no background check. For instance, you can sell your friends guns or sell them at a yard sale. Or advertise them in the paper/on the internet to sell them to private parties.



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Re: Importing Arms & Ammo into India

Postby goodboy_mentor » Fri May 08, 2015 7:13 pm

Thank you Commonwealth_of_PA and TwoRivers. Now I am getting the picture of how things are done in U.S.

As per my understanding, U.S. Congress has power to tax interstate commerce. For taxing interstate commerce National Firearms Act criminalizes possession of NFA firearms for which tax has not been payed. It is somewhat like in Indian Arms Act 1959, you are under criminal liability unless you have payed the license fees for possessing any firearm that forms part of commercial transaction.

How does federal government track tax is being payed for every sale of NFA firearm? How will owner of NFA firearm prove that he has paid tax under NFA Act? Rephrasing the question: how the identity/ address or other identifying or tracking details of owner remain unknown to Federal government and at same time Federal Government is able to make sure tax has been paid by the owner? Conversely how owner is also able to prove the same if needed.


"If my mother tongue is shaking the foundations of your State, it probably means that you built your State on my land" - Musa Anter, Kurdish writer, assassinated by the Turkish secret services in 1992

Commonwealth_of_PA
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Re: Importing Arms & Ammo into India

Postby Commonwealth_of_PA » Fri May 08, 2015 9:07 pm

OK, first of all you know what NFA firearms are, right?

- Machineguns
- Short Barreled Rifles
- Short Barreled Shotguns
- AOWs (cell phone guns and odd firearms)
- Large bore Destructive Device (Cannon, rifled barrel > 0.5")
- Explosive Destructive Device (Grenades, Mines, Explosive projectiles over a certain weight, rockets over a certain weight)
- Poison Gas Destructive Device

They are NOT handguns, rifles, AR-15s, semi-auto beltfed .50 caliber M2 BMGs, shotguns, anything within the realm of slightly normal firearms by outside the US standards. These are special weapons.

I had already earlier stated that NFA firearms are registered.

The combined answer is as follows. When you buy one (or make one) you send a two-sided form and a page where you certify you are a US Citizen to US BATFE. Also $200 to buy a tax stamp. Often people are required to send a photo and fingerprints as well. BATFE puts your name into their registry as the owner or maker of the weapon. This registry is confidential under penalty of prison, US police and federal agents cannot even access it. But it is a registry. In the event of a crime, the BATFE may have an agent review information provided by police and MIGHT decide to confirm ownership and/or registration of the weapon if the police inquiry is clearly appropriate.

The BATFE puts a Tax Stamp on your form, cancels it, and signs the form and sends you your copy. You sent them two copies and they keep one.



partheus
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Re: Importing Arms & Ammo into India

Postby partheus » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:05 am

Hi guys,
Greetings from the land of navabs. I am new here and have been soaking up the wisdom, which has been very enlightening. A few things came to mind after reading some of the entries.

Firstly, renowned shot are obviously competitive shooters. Don't competitions use pneumatic guns only? If so, shouldn't the shooters only have licenses for such weapons. Or does being a renowned shot entitle people to purchase weapons of any NPB caliber? Or is the process of upgrading a license to bigger bores easier?

With regards to importing firearms, most of the information seems to indicate we, the ordinary joe/jane cannot import a gun. But what of the authorized arms dealers? Are there special provisions allowing them to import firearms? I think I saw some website of a dealer which had a p99 listed under their "our latest arms" header. Dunno if this was just a random cool pic or if they really meant that.

Thanks!



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Re: Importing Arms & Ammo into India

Postby mundaire » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:13 pm

partheus wrote:Hi guys,
Greetings from the land of navabs. I am new here and have been soaking up the wisdom, which has been very enlightening. A few things came to mind after reading some of the entries.

Firstly, renowned shot are obviously competitive shooters. Don't competitions use pneumatic guns only? If so, shouldn't the shooters only have licenses for such weapons. Or does being a renowned shot entitle people to purchase weapons of any NPB caliber? Or is the process of upgrading a license to bigger bores easier?


In ISSF style 10 meter air-rifle/ air-pistol competitions (almost all) competitors these do indeed use pneumatic air-rifles/ air-pistols - though there is no requirement to use pneumatic air-guns, spring-piston airguns, CO2 airguns etc. are allowed, so long as they are in .177 calibre and adhere to ISSF regulations. So far there was no requirement for licenses for such air-rifles/ air-pistols (though with the new Arms Rules 2016 this is now a grey area).

Other ISSF style disciplines require the use of "real" firearms like .22 LR pistols and centrefire pistols, .22 LR rifles, shotguns and centrefire rifles.

Renowned shooters are issued import permits only for the class/ category of firearms used in the discipline in which they have qualified as renowned shots.

Arms licensing is a DIFFERENT SUBJECT. As far as arms licensing is concerned, one does not need to be a renowned shooter to be issued a license for the purpose of shooting sports. Different jurisdictions interpret requirements of "proving" one's credentials as an active shooting sportsperson differently. For e.g. participation in Zonal/ Pre-National level events is required to be issued a license under shooting sports category.

IN GENERAL - once a license is issued for a particular category of firearms for e.g. NPB GUN (i.e. shotgun), it is far easier to have it converted to another category for e.g. NPB Rifle, than it is to apply for a fresh arms license.

partheus wrote:With regards to importing firearms, most of the information seems to indicate we, the ordinary joe/jane cannot import a gun. But what of the authorized arms dealers? Are there special provisions allowing them to import firearms? I think I saw some website of a dealer which had a p99 listed under their "our latest arms" header. Dunno if this was just a random cool pic or if they really meant that.

Thanks!


Arms dealers CANNOT import firearms PERIOD. Commercial imports of firearms ceased in the 1950's when the government stopped renewing arms import licenses for Arms & Ammunition dealers. Individual imports were banned in 1986.

Arms & Ammunition dealers can import limited quantities of ammunition for calibres which are not manufactured in India and fall within a government list of calibres allowed for import by dealers. However, this is subject to issue of specific import license, which is linked to a complicated calculation based on overall sales volumes of the dealer etc.


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partheus
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Re: Importing Arms & Ammo into India

Postby partheus » Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:39 am

Thanks Mundaire, that clears up a lot! I found an interesting article on the topic - http://indianexpress.com/article/explai ... t-2802388/. It pertains to the Rocky Yadav incident where the shooter used a Beretta (9mm?) in the unfortunate incident. The article states a person can acquire up to 7 licensed weapons under sports quota, including 4 related to their event and 3 "other" weapons. Its ambiguous on whether this means both types (event related and other) can be imported as well.

If a shooter were to get a renowned shot status in say a .22lr pistol competition, will that mean they can legally import, say, a PPK .22 or any of the new polymer guns in that caliber without needing to pay import duties? Also, I cannot seem to find any info on whether firearms are categorized via caliber or gun type, if its the latter, and a shooter is a renowned shot for pistol shooting, I guess it could mean they can import any NPB handgun. Will appreciate your views on this :)




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