Importing Firearms, Swords, or other Weapons

This article details the importation of weapons such as firearms and sword, which is regulated by the Act for Control of Possession of Firearms or Swords and Other Such Weapons.

Act for Control of Possession of Firearms or Swords and Other Such Weapons

The Firearms Control Law regulates the possession of swords1, guns, rifles, machine guns or artillery, gun cartridges, and gun parts (Article 3 to Article 3-6 of the Law). Exceptions are (i) when a permit to possess is obtained (Sections 4 and 6 of the Act), and (ii) when a “firearms and swords registration certificate” is obtained for old-style firearms and swords of artistic value.

When importing unregistered old-style firearms or swords of artistic value from overseas, it is necessary to obtain a “certificate of registrability” upon importation in order to obtain registration.

When importing, it is assumed that the product can be legally possessed after importation, so customs will check the possession permit/firearms and swords registration certificate/certificate of registrability or a copy of these in accordance with the Customs Law.

In addition, in relation to the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Law, the import of swords, guns, gun cartridges, and gun parts requires import approval from the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, so it is necessary to pay attention to its procedure2.

1 “Swords” means swords with a blade length of 15 cm or more, javelins and naginatas, swords with a blade length of 5.5 cm or more, daggers, and flying knives with a device that automatically opens the blade at 45 degrees or more (Article 2, Paragraph 2 of the Firearms Act).
2 See “93-02” to “93-05” in the first part of item 2-2 of the import announcement.

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