Firearms permits and licences
A permit or licence granted by the police is required for the acquisition and possession of firearms.
Under the Firearms Act, the permit applications are initiated verbally and an official will enter your application in a firearms database.
When submitting your application, you must present your official personal identification (passport or ID card) and the documents required for justifying your application (an explanation of the intended purpose of the firearms and report of previously engaging in shooting as a hobby). Getting a so-called handgun also requires a certificate proving that you have been shooting as a hobby for at least two years. The certificates are granted by firearms instructors at hunting and shooting clubs.
If you are a conscript, you must present your military passport, civilian service certificate, conscription certificate or a certificate showing that you are exempt from military service.
A firearms permit can only be granted to applicants who can demonstrate an acceptable purpose of use. Acceptable purposes of use include shooting of animals under hunting legislation, shooting for sport and as a hobby, or work in which a firearm is essential.
Demonstrations, filming and other similar presentations, keeping a firearm in a museum or in a collection, keeping a firearm as a memento, or storing and transport are also acceptable purposes of use.
Permits can only be granted for firearms or firearm components that are highly suitable for the purpose you have notified. The weapon may not be excessively powerful or destructive.
If you are seeking a permit or a licence on the grounds of hunting or shooting for sport, you must provide evidence of your involvement in such activities. If you have a hunting licence or a shooting club membership card, bring this along when submitting the permit application.
If you are seeking a permit or licence on the grounds of work that requires a firearm, you must provide documentation showing that you have received training for, or are otherwise familiar with, the safe handling of firearms and that you have a justifiable reason for carrying a firearm in your work. This is demonstrated in the form of a certificate from the employer.
Permits and licences for keeping firearms in a museum or in a collection can only be granted to weapon collectors authorised by the National Police Board.
If you are seeking a permit or a licence on the grounds of wanting to keep a firearm as a memento, you must provide a written explanation of why the weapon has sentimental value for you.
Once you are 15, and with your guardian’s permission, you can have a parallel permit for a weapon owned by someone else. Your guardian can also be granted a firearms permit for the acquisition, storage and transport of a weapon intended for your use. Your guardian does not have to have their own firearms permit. You guardian cannot however shoot your gun even though they are responsible for it.
Once you are 18 years old, you can be granted a permit for acquiring a firearm. You may only be granted the permit if you are considered fit to possess a firearm or a firearm component. Applicants with a criminal record or substance abuse issues may be refused.
Acquisition permits for pistols, small-bore pistols, revolvers and small-bore revolvers or their components can only be granted after you have turned 20.
Everyone applying for a firearms permit must submit an estimate of personal aptitude, which can be demonstrated with a medical certificate or an interview.
When you apply for a firearms permit for the first time, the police will interview you. The interview concerns your familiarisation with the firearm referred to in your application, the intended purpose of use and weapons safety, and includes going over the rules for storing firearms. The police may also ask you about your life management skills.
A firearms permit cannot be granted to you if you are found unfit to hold a firearm due to your health or behaviour.
Firearms, ammunition and gas spray permits can be granted to associations and foundations based on an application. Associations and foundations can also be authorised as weapon collectors. Associations and foundations must appoint a firearms officer to oversee all firearms, who must be authorised by the police. The facilities in which firearms are stored must also be approved by the police.
If you no longer need the firearm, request the police to revoke your permit. A parallel permit is cancelled if the holder of the main permit who has given their consent, the state, or the guardian of a minor withdraws their consent.
A firearms permit is also terminated if you no longer engage in shooting as a hobby, no longer require the permit for your work, or your firearm has gone missing.
The police may revoke your firearm permit if you have behaved violently or have been found guilty of a firearms violation or a firearms offence. The permit can also be revoked if you have violated the licence terms or otherwise demonstrated that you are unfit to hold firearms with your behaviour and lifestyle.
The possession permit of an association or a foundation can be revoked if the conditions change so that the permit holder no longer meets the requirements for the issue of the permit.
You can surrender unlicensed firearms, firearm components, cartridges and especially dangerous projectiles as well as explosives to the police without repercussions. To escape criminal liability, you must report these items to the police on your own initiative. Unlicensed firearms and explosives must be surrendered directly to the police.
If you engage in shooting as a hobby or for hunting, and move from one EU country to another, the European Firearms Pass will make it easier for you to travel. EFP helps you provide proof that you intend to participate in a shooting competition or a hunting event.
Some EU countries stipulate that, in addition to the EFP and an invitation to an event, you need to obtain the approval or permission of the authorities of the destination country before bringing a firearm in.
Apply for EFP with a verbal application at your local police department. EFP is valid for a maximum period of five years. However, its period of validity can be renewed.