Sometime back the MoI in its magnanimity did a great favor to the citizens of this country by lifting the ban on arms licenses. The ban was actually imposed by the previous Government to control the worsening law and order situation in the country, which itself was deplorable as well a laughable thing to do. That is because the petty criminals, thugs and terrorists do need a license, it is in fact the law abiding citizens like you and me who need arms licenses to protect ourselves from the very same people. The philosophy was perhaps coined by a drunk or a stoned Minister sitting somewhere in a cozy bathtub. Off course the minister(s) with their coterie of Police wallahs to protect them have always been least concerned for you and me. One can write a separate post on this issue alone. Anyways getting back to the subject, the Ministry of Interior (MoI), Non Prohibited Bore license (NPB) as it is called is a much sought after arms license in Pakistan. This is because it can be used countrywide and also is NPB means one can purchase any NPB weapon on that license, it can be a pistol, shotgun or a bolt action/semi-auto rifle (in the non banned category). It is plastic card based license printed by NADRA and unlike the book based old licenses issued by the Provincial Governments once. Here’s how to get an MoI, NPB license in Pakistan.
The first thing you are going to need is loads of patience Believe me , I am not joking, because if you are not a Government official or someone with links in “higher” places, this thing is going to test your patience levels to their limits. Any cuss words or expletives you ever learned in your childhood, well better hold on and spill them not, because you’re dealing with the GoP.
Step 2, download the license form form the MoI website and fill it up. You will need 2 color (1” x 1”) size photographs (with blue background) and a copy of your NIC. The same form can be used for applying for Duplicate, Renewal, Transfer, Re-validation or Conversion of weapon license. You also need to attach a letter or certificate showing your profession. And it really helps if you are an officer/official of the GoP/Armed Forces.
Next, you submit all these documents to the Section Officer in MoI dealing with the issue. Here’s the tricky part, you will need some contacts or at least some running around to get there and submit the documents if you are a “Aam Shehri” of Pakistan.
After submitting the forms, and this is not a joke, you can either resort to praying deeply OR you can and in fact should try to create a source/liaison in the MoI who can keep a track of your application. Since its paper based for now, so the chances of your application being overlooked or lost are directly proportional to the amount of effort you put in tracking it OR praying (paying ) for it to happen. Plain truth is, nobody in the mighty MoI is concerned or worried about your license, except you.
The approval, from “Competent Authority” takes from a few days to weeks or in the worst case months all depending upon your social engineering skills. Once you get the approval, which is nothing more than a letter addressed to the NADRA with your name on it, you are ready to graduate to the next step.
Next you will make sure that the approval is sent to NADRA through MoI, or else they will send you back with your copy of the letter without taking any “action.” It will definitely help if you have a source in NADRA, else from the entrance gate till the place where you have to submit your documents, you will have to make an effort. NARDA will then ask you to make the payment for the license, and make an entry in their database. Finally after few days they will give you a “Challan Form”. This you have to take to the Arms Dealer you intend buying the weapon from and make an entry in to it, describing its caliber, serial number, price, the dealer’s name and his stamp etc.
The Challans have an expiry time which is mentioned on them, normally three months. If it expires and you still haven’t got an entry made form a dealer you can get it extended for a fee.
Next you will have to take the Challan from to the DC Office for making entry/verification. Here again you might need to pull a few strings. After this you will submit these Challans back at the NADRA office who will then print your license and give it back to you after few weeks.
This, in words might sound very simple, but actually isn’t all that cute. There’s lots of running around, or the whole thing might take months to do it. I have heard there are “agents” who do it for a sum of money (In the land of Pure this is actually a very good business), you just have to give them the “monies” and they will do the running around. These are the people with contacts at the right places, who “facilitate” the whole process. Frankly, I haven’t tried them and I would rather not recommend it. Hope you find this post useful.