Firearms license in Poland

firearms license in PolandHow to get a firearms license in Poland?

Contrary to popular belief, it is not that difficult. Currently, the law is shaped in such a way that anyone who meets the requirements specified in the act, receives a firearms permit.

This is done administratively. The permit is issued by the Voivodship Police Commander competent according to the candidate’s place of residence.

What are the legal conditions for obtaining a firearms license in Poland?

The competent Police authority issues a firearms license if the applicant does not pose a threat to himself, public order or safety and presents a valid reason for possessing the firearm.

So far, the discretion of the Police authorities has been very limited. In practice, it comes down to checking whether the candidate:

1) age is 21 (or in exceptional circumstances – 18)
2) has permanent residence in the territory of the Republic of Poland;
3) does not show mental disorders or significant disorders of psychological functioning, and does not have significantly reduced psychophysical efficiency
4) is not addicted to alcohol or psychoactive substances;
5) has not been convicted by a final court decision for an intentional crime or an intentional fiscal crime or an unintentional crime:
– against life and health,
– against safety in communication, committed while intoxicated or under the influence of a narcotic drug, or when the perpetrator fled the scene.
6) has shown “important cause”, which is considered to be…

Firearms for sporting purposes

The vast majority of firearms licenses in Poland are issued “for sports purposes”. Why? Because practically every central or rimfire weapon available on the market is “sporting”. For sports purposes, we can have a Glock, a Kalashnikov, an AR-15, a 45 cal revolver, etc.

An important reason for having a gun in this case is the desire to practice the sport of shooting. The “willingness” alone is not enough, however. However, the candidate must document it in a special way:

  • documented membership in a shooting association,
  • possession of the PZSS shooting patent and
  • possession of the PZSS license

In short, it looks like this:

So first we join a shooting association (“club”). We train there and gain experience. When we are ready, we can take the shooting patent exam, organized by the PZSS.

After passing the exam, we have to apply to the PZSS for a license for the given year. The license is then renewed for another year, provided that proof of participation in a certain number of shooting competitions is documented.

Having these documents, we go to the (authorized) doctor and psychologist and take an extract from the National Criminal Register.

We attach all this to the application for a firearms license and wait a few months.

Firearms for collecting purposes

Those who do not want to regularly participate in competitions and “confess” to PZSS, may apply for a permit for collecting purposes. The only condition we must meet here is: documented membership in a collectors’ association

In practice, we sign up for a collectors’ association, pay the membership fee and obtain a document – a certificate from the management board of this association that we are its member.

Having this documented, we go to the (authorized) doctor and psychologist and take an extract from the National Criminal Register.

We attach all of this to the application for a firearms license in Poland.

After considering our application, the competent Voivodship Commander of Police sets the date of the exam for us.

After passing the exam, we are waiting for the issuance of the gun permit.

The first step to obtain a permit – learning theory and practice

First of all, safety rules and learning how to use weapons!

Despite some differences in the method of obtaining the above permits, one thing remains common: first, learn the safety rules on the shooting range and how to handle weapons.

The second area is theoretical knowledge, which we gain by reading selected legal acts (all of them can be found on my website in the Legal tab->  available in Polish version as the exams are being held in Polish language only).

And I will be happy to help you with this 🙂

Feel free to study together!

Krzysztof Kuczyński