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In the Netherlands, the possession of all firearms and other weapons is prohibited. Non-firearms include various types of knives, fake weapons, realistic-looking toys and air weapons, electroshock weapons and self-defence weapons. If you want to own or trade in weapons and ammunition, you need a weapons permit. There are 4 types of permits: recognition, consent, authorisation and dispensation.
As of 1 September 2017 the application procedure for weapons permits has become stricter. You must submit your application in person, and you must also be present in person when the storage facilities in your business or house are checked. You must also comply with an examination of your mental health, and you must provide 3 references.
The police chief will decide on the basis of this information whether you will be given a permit or not.
People who already have a permit
People who have one or more permits from before 1 September 2017, and only from before that date, must go through the new procedure once.
You need a recognition permit if you intend to use weapons for commercial purposes (for example sale, rent or repair). You can apply for a recognition permit with the chief constable of the police force in your police region.
You need an authorisation permit if you intend to transport a weapon. You can apply for an authorisation permit for transport with the chief constable of the police force in your police region (in Dutch).
A dispensation permit is an individual exception to a statutory prohibition. You can apply for a dispensation permit with Justis (Ministry of Justice and Security, in Dutch).
Biological weapons are prohibited in the Netherlands. No company may develop, manufacture, stock, procure or possess biological weapons.
Online application via Message Box
You can apply for a permit for weapons and ammunition with the Dutch Police, Justis or the CDIU (Dutch Tax and Customs Administration) via Message Box. Message Box is a secure e-mail system that enables entrepreneurs to exchange digital messages with Dutch government agencies.