Gun laws in Pakistan allow for the wide ownership of firearms there. Only tribal areas of the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa permits the ownership of heavy weaponry including the use of rocket-propelled grenades, short, medium, and long-range rockets, anti-aircraft guns, mortars, etc. These heavy weapons may be made in Pakistan.
The people of the provinces of Punjab and Sindh view the bearing and use of arms as a constitutional right whereas the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan view it as part of their culture. Pakistan is also known for its indigenous gunsmith tradition. A notable centre of gun manufacturing is the town of Darra Adam Khel, near Peshawar, historically known for its Lee–Enfield .303 facsimiles and other Khyber Pass copies. However, the town now produces a broader range of ordnance including AK-47's, mini-Kalashnikovs, and hand-held firearms, including the "James Bond" pen gun.
Other enduring customs and a strong culture of honor also promote the prevalence and importance of guns. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where the Pashtun residents laud performances of strength and toughness, carrying a AK-47 or other gun is a sign of honour and respect. Similarly, much of mainstream Pakistani culture, including Balochi, Sindhi, Punjabi and Kashmiri cultures, is heavily influenced by guns, as evidenced by common practice of aerial firings on special occasions such as weddings. According to Michael Palin, "For Pakistanis, a gun is a social necessity. Pathans carry guns the way Londoners carry umbrellas." As such, the broader Pakistani social necessity of portable and displayable wealth takes on an intimidating form among male members of provincial society.
The founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah held a British firearms certificate. Unlike gun politics in the United States which is frequently debated, there is little public debate in Pakistan on gun control.
In no particular order, Pakistanis view weapons as important for one or more of these purposes:
There are an estimated 20 million firearms in public ownership in Pakistan (both legal and illegal), of which 7 million are registered among the country's population of over 220 million. The rate of private gun ownership is 11.6 firearms per 100 people. In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Pakistan ranks at No.6. As of 2009, the homicide rate is 7.3 per 100,000 population, higher than the United States at 5.0 per 100,000 population.
Although owning or possessing a firearm requires licensing in most of Pakistan's provinces, journalist Naeem Sadiq states that most gun licenses are fake, mostly based on forged documents and through government connections and alliances of licenses holders. He also further states that gun licensing laws do not require any background checks or safety targeting or written tests. This also includes a lack of tests on mental health or drug usage by the applicant(s). He argues this to be a contrast to Pakistan's current war against militancy. Sadiq also makes mention of private security guards who carry firearms in public, repeating the common concern of them harassing and intimidating ordinary citizens. Another allegation he makes is that many of the rich elite in Pakistan manage to evade gun restrictions and are able to fabricate paper and digital licenses through connections in the government (ie. friends and relatives). They are also allegedly able to avoid penalties on gun-related offenses, including murder because of the current diyat laws, allowing a wealthy person to pay compensation to a deceased victim's family. Towards the end of the year 2017, Sadiq wrote an open letter to the government to retain its responsibility to protect citizens rather than allow the state to become ‘Republic of Private Security Agencies’.
There are restrictions on shotguns in Pakistan. The regulation of firearms in Pakistan is categorised as shot gun license. Pakistani citizens and special category of foreigners can legally own firearms. A licence is required to purchase a firearm. Acquisition of the licence involves the payment of fees, a processing time ranging from a few days to months, and registration of the firearm with local authorities. Two kinds of licences are currently issued: (1) Prohibited bore and (2) Non-Prohibited bore. They are issued by both the Federal government and Provincial governments. The federal government issues both Prohibited bore (which includes fully automatic weapons) and Non-Prohibited bore (which includes semi-automatic and other weapons) licences for all of Pakistan. Provincial government cannot issue Prohibited Bore licences and their licensing jurisdiction is restricted to their particular province.
Present laws allow ownership of handguns of any calibre, although previously there existed an upper limit restriction of .38-calibre. All shotguns are allowed. Federal prohibited bore permits for civilian fully automatic weapons are issued by the Ministry of the Interior and are valid throughout Pakistan.
In Pakistan, private possession of fully automatic, semi-automatic and handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence. Only licensed gun owners may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition. Applicants for a gun owner's license are not required to prove genuine reason to possess a firearm. Third party character references are not required. Where a past history, or likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Pakistan does not stipulate that a gun licence should be denied or revoked. An understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required for a firearm licence. Licensed firearm owners in Pakistan are permitted to possess any number of firearms as well as being permitted to possess any quantity of ammunition.
In Pakistan, the law requires that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register. Licensed firearm dealers are also required to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority. Licensed gun makers are required to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority. State agencies are required to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control.
In Pakistan, the private sale and transfer of firearms is permitted. Dealing with firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer's licence is unlawful. The minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined. Celebratory gunfire and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated.
Firearm regulations in Pakistan do not include written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners. There are also no written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition, no inclusion of written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition and no lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities. However, there are written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit.
In Pakistan, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law. State authorities carry out recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures but state authorities do not employ ballistic fingerprinting technology to trace guns and ammunition.
In Pakistan, private guns are prohibited in educational institutions, hostels or boarding and lodging houses, fairs, gatherings or processions of a political, religious, ceremonial or sectarian character, and on the premises of courts of law or public offices.
In Pakistan, the maximum penalty for illicit possession of firearms is 7 years prison.
Authorities in Pakistan are known to have implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation. In 2010 alone, more than 89,000 illegal firearms were voluntarily surrendered by Pakistani citizens for destruction. The total number of firearms destroyed following recent state amnesties, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be 641,107. The Pakistani military routinely captures and destroy all weapons seized from the Taliban.
Open carry is considered to be a misdemeanor in cities and permitted in rural areas. A person may keep a firearm at their place of residence (including display on rooftops of private residences), in their vehicle and concealed carry. According to law the open carrying is prohibited without the approval of the Home Ministry, but in practice are considered misdemeanors in urban areas and permitted in rural areas. Open carry is practiced without restriction in rural Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa and Baluchistan. Special permits are also required for carrying firearms during times when local authorities impose restrictions on public gatherings to preempt civil unrest or during protests that are expected to become violent. In large cities, target shooting facilities exist for gun enthusiasts to practice.