Malaysian gun laws are very restrictive, and it is illegal to possess, carry or use any type of firearm or ammunition without a firearms license. The local chief of police is responsible for issuing licenses and has wide discretion to grant or deny an application. The application process for a gun license is relatively straightforward, but actually getting a gun license in Malaysia is notoriously difficult – the process can take several years.
Licenses Are Limited to Specific Firearms
You cannot apply for a general Malaysia gun license, rather, you apply individually for a handgun license or a shotgun license. In each case, you are asked to identify a specific weapon or ammunition to which the license relates. If the firearm does not have an identifying stamp or maker's mark, the chief police officer arranges for a code to be permanently marked on the firearm. Certain weapons are banned in Malaysia; with or without a license, it's against the law to possess pump-action or repeating shotguns or guns that discharge noxious chemicals or gases.
Read More: How to Renew My Firearms License
Apply to the Chief of Police
If you are over the age of 18, have no criminal record and no history of physical or mental disability, it's relatively straightforward to apply for a gun permit. Download the necessary forms from the website of the Royal Malaysian Police. Use the application checklist to gather the documents you need. Generally, these include: the application form, a photo ID and various employment and tax records. Take your documents to the police headquarters that govern the area where you live.
You'll Need a Good Reason
Whether your application is successful is entirely up to the police officer who reviews it and determines whether you have a good reason for possessing, carrying or using a firearm. Just wanting to own a gun is not enough. You stand a better chance if you are a member of a shooting club, a landowner who needs protection from wild animals or a security professional whose job puts you at risk of harm. Even if you do have a good reason, the police officer can still reject your application if he thinks that your owning a gun is against the public interest or that you are incapable of using it without danger to public safety. The police carry out background checks, and you won't get a license if you fail.
There Will Be Strings Attached
If you do manage to get a firearms license, it comes with plenty of strings. First, it is limited in duration. Under Malaysian law, gun licenses expire on June 30 every year, and you will have to apply for a renewal to continue using the gun. Your license will likely contain restrictions on the type and quantity of ammunition you can buy without police permission, and it will limit your gun use to a specific purpose or place. For example, you may be permitted to use the gun only at a designated shooting range or during working hours for the purposes of your employment. These restrictions are entered into the state register, which law enforcement can access at any time. The law is enforced to stop people trading licenses or using guns without the proper permission.
Penalties for Violations
Malaysia takes its gun laws very seriously, and you shouldn't carry a gun illegally. If you own a gun without a license or fail to comply with the license conditions, you're looking at 14 years in prison and a whipping. Firing a gun at someone carries the death penalty, regardless of whether the person is hit.
You must be age 18 or over to apply for a Malaysian firearms license. Take photo ID, employment details and other paperwork to the local chief of police and prove that you have a good reason for wanting to own a gun.
Jayne Thompson earned an LL.B. in Law and Business Administration from the University of Birmingham and an LL.M. in International Law from the University of East London. She practiced in various “Big Law” firms before launching a career as a commercial writer. Her work has appeared on numerous legal blogs including Quittance, Upcounsel and Medical Negligence Experts.