Firearm Regulations in Cyprus -Expert Legal Guidance

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Firearm Regulations in Cyprus – Expert Legal Guidance

Cyprus enforces strict and comprehensive firearm regulations designed to prioritize public safety and security. These regulations govern the possession, use, and trade of firearms in the country. In this article, we aim to provide a comprehensive overview of Cyprus’ gun laws, covering license types, requirements, and firearm categories, including rifles, pistols, and shotguns.

Firearm Laws in Cyprus

Cyprus’s firearm laws are primarily governed by Chapter 113 (Ι)2004 of the Firearms and Ammunition Law. This legislation outlines the prerequisites for firearm ownership, permissible firearm types, the licensing procedure, and penalties for violations.

According to these laws, firearm possession and usage are subject to strict regulations, and all firearms must be registered. Automatic firearms are prohibited, and access to handguns is generally restricted, with exceptions for sports shooting and collectors.

Types of Licenses and the Licensing Procedure

In Cyprus, two primary firearm licenses exist:

Shotgun License: This license allows individuals to possess shotguns, primarily for hunting purposes. Applicants must hold a hunting license and be at least 18 years old.

Sport Shooting License: This license permits the possession of handguns for sports shooting. It necessitates membership in an officially recognized shooting club, completion of a safety course, and a minimum age of 21.

Collectors can obtain a special license for antique and deactivated firearms, subject to stringent conditions and a comprehensive application process.

License Prerequisites

Obtaining a firearm license in Cyprus involves a rigorous process to ensure that only eligible and responsible individuals gain access to firearms. Key requirements include:

Age: Applicants must be at least 18 years old for a shotgun license and 21 years old for a sport shooting license.

Application: Submission of a complete application form to the local police station, including personal information, the reason for firearm possession, and the intended firearm type. Background checks, including criminal records and possible interviews, are conducted.

Clean Criminal Record: Applicants must have a clean criminal record.

Mental Health: Applicants must possess a medical certificate confirming their sound mental health.

Legitimate Reason: A legitimate reason for firearm ownership (e.g., hunting, sport shooting, collection) is mandatory.

Safety Course: Completion of a firearms safety course is required.

Sports Club Membership: For sport shooting licenses, membership in a recognized shooting club is mandatory.

Hunting License: A hunting license is necessary for shotgun licenses.

 Firearm Categories

Firearms in Cyprus are categorized based on their type and use:

Handguns: Generally restricted, with exceptions for sport shooting and collectors.

Shotguns: Allowed for hunting, with specific gauge and cartridge limits.

Rifles: Generally prohibited, except for specific types used in sport shooting.

Air Guns: Those exceeding one joule in power require a license.

Antique and Deactivated Firearms: Permitted for collectors with a special license.

Storage and Transport

Firearms must be stored unloaded, in a locked container, and separate from ammunition. During transport, they must remain unloaded and out of sight.

 Penalties for Violations

Cyprus enforces stringent penalties for violations of firearm laws, including fines and imprisonment, depending on the nature and severity of the infraction.

For more comprehensive insights into Cyprus’ firearm laws and potential consequences of violations, we recommend consulting with our lawfirm.

Handgun Regulations

Handguns are generally restricted in Cyprus, and private citizens are typically not allowed to own them for personal protection.

Exceptions include:

Sport Shooting: Active participation in sport shooting activities, necessitating a Sport Shooting License and use only at licensed shooting ranges.

Collectors: Ownership of antique or deactivated handguns as part of a genuine collection, requiring a special license and meeting strict conditions.

Law Enforcement and Military Personnel: Officers and active military personnel may carry handguns for official duties, subject to agency or branch-specific regulations.

Foreign protection units, including diplomatic security personnel, may also be granted exemptions to carry handguns in Cyprus under specific conditions, arranged through diplomatic channels and with official approvals.

Hunting Rifles and Licensing Rules

Hunting in Cyprus is subject to strict regulations, with hunting rifles controlled by Chapter 113 (Ι)2004 of the Firearms and Ammunition Law. Key points related to hunting rifles and licenses include:

Hunting License: To hunt in Cyprus, individuals must obtain a hunting license, issued by the Department of Forests. Qualifications include age, passing a hunting examination, and a clean hunting-related record.

Shotgun License: For using hunting rifles, particularly shotguns, a separate shotgun license is required, with specific prerequisites.

Rifles and Shotguns for Hunting: Rifles are generally prohibited in Cyprus, with shotguns being the primary choice for hunting.

Rules for Use: Hunting is permitted during specific seasons and areas, with restrictions on game species and methods. Proximity to residential areas, public roads, and the use of artificial light for hunting are prohibited.

Storage and Transport: Unloaded and securely stored when not in use, hunting rifles must also be concealed during transportation.

Cyprus upholds stringent firearm laws to ensure public safety. Prospective firearm owners should have a thorough understanding of these regulations to avoid penalties, including fines and imprisonment.

Our Services

At Michalaki, Pitsillidou & Co LLC, as Cyprus Lawyers we offer a comprehensive range of legal services pertaining to firearm laws and regulations. Our expertise extends to individuals and corporate entities alike, and our services encompass:

Firearm Licensing: Assisting clients in obtaining various firearm licenses, including guidance on eligibility, application processes, and representation in case of denials.

Regulatory Compliance: Advising on compliance with firearm laws and regulations, encompassing safe storage, transportation, usage for sports shooting or hunting, and firearm sales or transfers.

Legal Representation: Skilled legal defence for clients facing firearm-related charges, ensuring their rights are protected and seeking favourable outcomes.

Firearm Laws Consultation: Expert consultations for clients seeking insights into Cyprus’s firearm laws, whether they plan to obtain a license, engage in sport shooting or hunting, or expand their collection.

Foreign Protection Units Advisory: Detailed guidance for foreign protection units and diplomatic security personnel on Cyprus’s firearm regulations.

Policy Advocacy and Legislation: Collaboration with stakeholders, government bodies, and advocacy groups to influence firearm policies and legislation, providing expert analysis and advice.

Our approach is tailored to each client’s unique needs, focusing on delivering clear, practical guidance. We are committed to upholding the highest standards of professionalism and integrity. For further information, contact us

This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice. For more detailed information and personal legal guidance, please contact us.


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