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Vyas the Gamer   28 July 2021

arms license

I am found of sword fight and want to learn it. it is necessary to have a sword for that, I want to buy a blunt sword just for learning and practice purpose. do I need a license for that ? Is it permissible to go somewhere (practice ground) or travell with a blunt sword ? If I need a license then who will issue it ? please advice.  


 6 Replies

BHAVYA SOM GARG   28 July 2021

As per the situation laid out by you, I wish to tell you that as per the Arms Act, 1959, and the Arms Rules, 1962, a sword is considered to be an arm other than a firearm. Schedule 1 of the Rules specifies that swords, daggers, knives which are more than 9 inches in length and 2 inches in widdth would come under the category and as such, can be kept only after a license is sought to keep them, if under Section 4 of the Act, the Central Government may issue a notification and make it compulsory to have a license for such arms. So you need to have a valid license for even a blunt sword.

Further, for the issue as to who shall grant the license, I must tell you that as per Schedule 2 of the Rules, if a sword has to be kept for the purpose of practicing, the person has to seek a license from the District Magistrate of the area under whose jurisdiction the person lives.

As to the carrying of arms being illegal, I wish to tell you that generally, carrying arms in public places or while travelling is illegal in India. You cannot go about using your arm in the public.

SAM (LEGAL)     28 December 2023

Any edged weapon wider than 2” and longer than 8” is classified as a weapon (non firearm). Technically it needs a license as per INDIAN arms act. Swords are considered “prohibited arms” under the Arms Act and are illegal to own or possess without a licence. This indicates that having a katana sword in India is permissible, but only with the right official approval.

Section 4 of arms act provides that central govt may issue notification in official gazette regulating acquisition possession of arms other than fire arms.

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     28 December 2023

Swords are considered “prohibited arms” under the Arms Act and are illegal to own or possess without a licence.

Same goes for any other martial arts weapon that resembles a sword. Depending on your state and local laws, it may be best to store these blades at the recreational location at which you practice. So while it may be legal in some specific circumstances, carrying a sword in public is typically illegal

Any individual seeking to possess or use a sword in India must obtain a valid license from the competent authority as per the provisions of the Arms Act, 1959, and the rules made thereunder. Failure to do so may result in legal consequences, including but not limited to imprisonment and/or fines.

Dr. J C Vashista (Advocate )     30 December 2023

Well advised by experts, I concur.

Nothing more to add.

Nihal Y.   08 May 2024

Please specify what type of sword it is and how long it will be. Specific religious groups can carry edged weapons but the length of the sword or knife can still be restricted and you might still need a licence. As per the arms act some edged weapons like bayonets are banned and others are allowed but you need a licence.

But if you are carrying a fake decoy sword then I think some exceptions can be made and it can be classified as a decorative item. 

But even if it is classified as a decorative item it is better to you have it registered at the district magistrate or at the deputy commissioner of police ( depends on your jurisdiction).

And if you want to learn sword fighting the better solution would be to go to a place where sword fighting is taught, it will save you the hassle from registration and paperwork.



Nandini Shaw   25 May 2024

In my view, the Arms Act 1959, is a vital law that governs the possession, acquisition and carrying of arms and ammunition in India. According to section 3 of the Act, it states that no person can acquire, possess or carry a firearm or ammunition without a license issued under this act. The terms 'arms' include firearms of sharp-edged and other dangerous weapons.

A Blunt sword for practice may not always require a license under the Arms Act 1959 because it is intended for training and practice since they are not designed to cause harm. However, interpretation can vary and local authorities may have different views on this. So it is advisable to follow certain guidelines like before travelling with a Blunt sword  carry documentation which specifying that it is use for training purpose to avoid misunderstanding. Because under Section 25 of the Arms Act, it states that carrying any arm in public without a clear purpose can attract legal scrutiny under public safety laws, even if the arms is a blunt sword.

If a license is required, it is issued by the local licensing authority, such as a superintendent of police or the commissioner of police in urban areas.

In Ram Niwas vs. state of Delhi (2012)

This judgement highlighted  the discretion of authorities in interpreting the Arms Act concerning non traditional weapons , stressing the importance of current consulting local authorities for clarity.

Sikander Singh & Ors. vs. State of Bihar ( 2006)

This case underscored the necessity of license for all arms to ensure public safety, emphasizing broad regulatory compliance.

To ensure compliance with the legal provisions under the  Arms Act 1959 and considering the potential for varying interpretation, it is right to seek clarification from local authorities.

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