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During character creation, are characters required to purchase multiple licenses for their restricted weapons, or does one license cover them all?

In the provided examples it looks as if one does but, like my related question, the examples aren't very clear, and the text doesn't seem to be clear to me either.

I have already made the GM call that one will cover them all, but I was hoping to get some clarification on what would be considered the "correct approach" if there is one. Thanks!

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2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Only one License is required

You only need one license (like a real life License to Carry Firearms in the USA) to own and carry restricted weapons. If you are using a real SIN and a real License then you should never need another one. That said...

Having multiple licenses is a good idea...

If your character has a fake SIN or a fake license with a real SIN it may be in your best interest to buy/carry multiple licenses because if one license is compromised you'll still have backups. If a SIN or the license attached to it is fake and compromised the the other is compromised as well. So don't have 5 fake licenses tied to 1 fake SIN but do have 5 fake SINS each with their own license.

Related Rules:

A restricted item can be purchased, owned, and transported only under special circumstances. You are allowed to purchase and own a gun with the requisite firearms permit, and you can carry it with you with a special concealed carry permit. Of course, if you threaten someone or—heavens forefend—shoot someone with your gun, permit or not, you can expect to spend a long time in jail before or after having your permit revoked. Licenses and permits can be obtained through legal channels, as long as you’re a solid citizen with a legal SIN—of course, that goes for shadowrunners with fake SINs acquiring fake licenses, too. A fake license is connected to a fake SIN, and if one of them is exposed, the other becomes worthless (see Fake SINs, p. 367).

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That's how I interpreted it also. Unless someone comes around with definitive proof otherwise, I'm going to to agree in this case. –  Codeacula Mar 6 at 20:03

It's unfortunate that the book doesn't provide more guidance on this, so "Ask your GM" (or "Make a GM call", as the case may be) is the only good answer. You just have decide how broad each license is. I personally take each individual table as a single license - after all, there are non-weapon restricted items, and it makes zero sense that a single license would cover them all, but likewise the difference between two similar items in the same category it makes very little sense that a single license wouldn't cover them both.

So I break it down into "Heavy Pistols license", "Explosives license", "Electronic Warfare license", etc. I consider the "Concealed Carry license" to cover the Firearm Accessories table, since it includes things like the hidden arm slide, although that one is kind of iffy. Just makes it easier and faster.

It is important to note that the licenses only matter if you get caught with the items - assuming you have them running silent (or have the wireless turned off), it may never matter. If you have a license, though, you don't need to leave them on silent running, and just look like a smart citizen carrying legal protection to a quick look. (Of course, heavily modified or very restricted items could provoke a harder look, that might test the integrity of your fake license - and SIN.)

TL;DR: I use a license for each category of item that can be Restricted, such as one for Heavy Pistols and another for Machine Pistols and another for Explosives. This most closely matches most real-world licensing laws (having a permit to use mining explosives doesn't allow you to carry an Uzi, but having a permit for a 9mm Colt does allow you to carry a .22-pistol S&W), seems to make the most sense, and simplifies play without making the notion of licensing (and fake licenses) obsolete.

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I'm prone to agree... after all, this is Shadowrun. Why charge for a thing once if you can charge for it 5 times instead? Heck, charge to license the person to a specific weapon! I'm sure Knight Errand would love that. Just because an entity is willing to license shock gloves to someone doesn't mean they should or would be willing to license a fully automatic HK-227. –  drknexus Sep 14 at 15:45

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