Punjab govt hikes firearms licence fee by 2,000%

arms license fees soar

LAHORE: The Punjab caretaker government has approved a staggering increase of up to 2,000 per cent in fee for individual and commercial firearm licences.

This marks the most significant hike in arms licence fee seen in recent history.

The amendments to the Schedule One of Punjab Arms Rules 2023 will have a substantial impact on those seeking to renew or acquire weapon licenses for personal protection or other purposes.

The new license fee for acquiring or renewing a license has been raised to Rs50,000 from the previous Rs10,000, while existing license holders will now have to pay Rs5,000 for renewal, compared to the previous fee of Rs1,000.

The increase is not limited to individual licenses, as the fee for obtaining an “All Pakistan” license from Punjab’s Interior Department has skyrocketed by an astounding 2,000 per cent, from Rs5,000 to Rs100,000.

Moreover, private institutions and security companies will also face a considerable price hike, with their charges increasing from Rs7,000 to Rs50,000.

In addition, the cost for a duplicate arms license has risen to Rs 5,000, as opposed to the previous fee of Rs1,000.

The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) arms licence processing fee has also been raised from Rs1,400 to Rs2,000. In an effort to streamline the new process, the Punjab Interior Department will now accept online applications for arms licences in collaboration with NADRA. However, applicants availing this facility will have to pay a registration fee of Rs1,200.

Furthermore, the caretaker cabinet has sanctioned substantial increases of up to 2,000 per cent in fees for arms dealers, manufacturers, and companies. For instance, the fee for a new arms dealership license has drastically surged from Rs100,000 to Rs2 million.

These record-breaking increases in fees are likely to discourage individuals from legally obtaining firearms for personal use, raising concerns about the potential rise in black market arms trading.

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