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Nepal: Proposed Amendments to Firearms Law Would Hike Licensing Fees

(Apr. 23, 2010) It was reported on April 19, 2010, that Nepal's Cabinet has under consideration a proposal to amend the Arms and Ammunition Regulation 2029 [1972], chiefly to raise licensing fees. Licenses to carry arms anywhere in the country would cost significantly more under the proposed changes; fees for use restricted to one's home district would rise only marginally. More specifically, the fee for a pistol, revolver, or rifle license would be NPR10,000 (about US$138); the annual renewal fee would increase from NPR175 (about US$2.42) to NPR1,000. An airgun license would cost the weapon owner NPR300, up from NPR45; the license renewal fee, NPR200, versus the current NPR60. (Baburam Kharel & Prithvi M. Shrestha, Firearms Licence Fees to Go Up, EKANTIPUR.COM, Apr. 19, 2010, available at

Even though the Regulation permits the licensing of small arms to private owners, according to a Home Ministry official, such licenses have not been issued since the restoration of democracy in Nepal in 1990. The official stated, “[w]e forwarded the amendment proposal primarily for adjusting licence fees in keeping with the changed context and to regulate the renewal of licences of those weapons that were handed over to the state during the conflict” [presumably referring to the civil war, 1996-2006]. (Id.)

The current firearms license application procedure is a lengthy process. The Chief District Officer, who is the sole decision-making authority on whether or not to grant the license, sends a recommendation letter to the Home Ministry, which must approve the recommendation before the District Administration Office can issue the license. (Id.; in conjunction with article 10, Arms and Ammunition Act, 2019 [1963] (published Feb. 5, 1963), in GENEVA CENTRE FOR THE DEMOCRATIC CONTROL OF ARMED FORCES [DCAF], PACIFIC LAW ASSOCIATES, & NEPAL PEACE CAMPAIGN, THE SECURITY SECTOR LEGISLATION OF THE FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF NEPAL 257 (Hari Phuyal ed., 2009), available at
.) It is unclear whether the proposed amendments provide for a simplified procedure.

Finally, the amendment proposal suggests that the Regulation's current provision on the issuance of licenses for the production and sale of arms be maintained. However, at present the Nepal Army is reportedly the sole producer of ammunition. (Id.)