The Punjab Caretaker Cabinet has formally increased the firearms license fee related to issuance and renewal of individual and commercial firearm licenses by up to 2000%, which is the biggest lump sum hike in the country’s history.
According to the details, the applicants seeking a firearm license for personal protection (individual license) will have to pay a fee of Rs. 50,000 instead of Rs. 10,000, while renewal of personal firearm license will cost Rs. 5,000 instead of Rs. 1,000.
Meanwhile, the fee for obtaining an “All Pakistan” firearm license from the Punjab Interior Department has been increased by 2000% from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 100,000. Furthermore, the fee for private institutions and security companies has been increased from Rs. 7,000 to Rs. 50,000, while the NADRA license processing fee has seen a jump from Rs. 1,400 to Rs. 2,000.
Similarly, the fee for acquiring a duplicate firearm license has been increased from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 5,000. Moreover, the Punjab Interior Department will also start receiving online applications for firearm licenses with support from NADRA and the caretaker cabinet has approved an online application fee of Rs. 1,200.
The caretaker cabinet has also increased firearms dealers’ license fee by 2000%, which means that fee for new license of arms dealerships will now cost Rs. 2 million instead of the previous fee of Rs. 100,000.
The announcement has caused serious concern among all concerned stakeholders, especially arms dealerships, who have stated that there is fear for greater illegal arms possession in public and an increase in black market arms trading.