Procedure to be followed
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Authored by Mariya Paliwala, 7th semester, student at University College of Law, MLSU, Udaipur, Rajasthan.

Introduction

In India, the laws pertaining to the grant of gun license are governed under Section 3, 4, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 of the Arms Act of 1959 and the Arms Rule of 1962, Arms Rules 1962 and Arms Rule 2016. These Acts prescribe the stringent and expensive procedure for the citizens to procure the license for possessing guns. According to 2016 Article posted by the Washington Post, it was stated that India is a country which has stricter laws than America. Further, it also stated that the probability of an American getting killed by firearm is 12 times more than that of an Indian citizen. 

Necessary reasons demanded by law for the possession of guns

Before knowing the procedure for getting the gun license, it is important for the readers to know that on what basis the civilians can apply for guns in India. From Section 35 to 46 of Arms Rule 2016 specifies special category for issuing the license namely:

  1. License for the destruction of wild animals which poses a threat to human beings and crops. This comes under the protection of life and property which is, in turn, a reason for self-defence. 
  2. License for the purpose of target and training purpose (the trainer must be an adult and the trainee must not be below 15 years of age and not above 21 years of age).
  3. License for sports shooting association.
  4. License for shooting ranges.
  5. License for accredited trainers.
  6. Quantity of ammunition for sports person, shooting associations etc.
  7. License to museums.
  8. License for arms and ammunitions for theatrical, film or television production. 
  9. License to an international shooter, who has come to India for participation at shooting events in India.
  10. Acquisition, possession and export of arms or ammunition by tourists visiting India.
  11. License for firemen free zone.

Apart from the reasons stated above self-defence, corp protection and sports are the other reasons to get the gun license in India.

Self-defence 

It is often said and believed that using a weapon for an offence is considered immoral but using it for the sake of self-defence is justified. The procedure for granting of gun licenses on the ground of self-defence is extremely difficult and stringent, therefore they are allowed in extremely special cases, a person applying for the license must have a strong reason and must have filed a First Information Report (FIR) prior to the application.

In case of women living in metro cities who are given priority on the condition that they are experiencing a threat to their life. However, for the sake of safety they may just possess Taser guns, which does not require any license. 

Corp protection

People who work in security and guarding agencies are given the license only on the condition that they will use for the security purpose at work and no other.

Sports 

A person getting the license for the reason of sports needs to be a fulltime sports person. Moreover, they can get a license for target shooting and other games. 

Procedure to be followed

Before following the procedure a person needs to fulfil the basic age criteria that a person must not be less than 21 years of age, he must be of sound mind and must have a justified reason for acquiring a gun license. After these basic conditions are confirmed the following procedure must be followed for acquiring a gun license in India:

Filing of an application

Section 13(1) of the Arms Act 1959 pertains to the procedure of application, which must be in accordance with Chapter II of Arms Act 1959 and also the prescribed fee must be paid. Moreover, gun license formalities are available at the Indian Ordnance Factories

Call for the report

Section 13(2) of the Arms Act 1959 empowers the licensing authority to call for the detailed report made by the police officer of the nearest police station within a prescribed time period. In case the police officer fails to submit the report then the licensing authority may use its discretion and may either approve the application or refuse it. 

License for different purpose 

In case of self defence the license for smooth bore gun can be granted. However, in the case of sports and crop protection the license for muzzle loading gun can be granted. If in case the licensing authority is satisfied that muzzleloading gun is not sufficient then it may grant a license for any other gun. 

Satisfaction of Licensing authority

After undergoing all the due procedure and most importantly after the licensing authority is satisfied with the justification given in the application, the license for specific purpose is granted.

Rules regarding ancestral guns

A license for a gun can be transferred by the person after his death to his legal heirs after following due procedure which is as follows:

  1. A license holder may make an application on a plain paper and this paper must be attached to Form A.
  2. Moreover, if the original license is expired then the application of its renewal can be made in Form A. All it requires is 2 passport size photos and non objection of heirs.
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Circumstances under which the license may undergo variation, suspension and revocation

The following procedure for variation, suspension and revocation is prescribed under Section 17 of the Arms Act, 1959. 

In case the holder of a license is prohibited

If in case the licensing authority is satisfied by the fact that the holder of the license is prohibited under this Act or under any other law, or Statute abstaining him from possessing or acquiring or carrying any arms or ammunition for the time being in force. 

Necessary for peace and order

If the licensing authority feels that it is necessary for peace, security and public safety, it may suspend or revoke it the license. 

Fabrication of information 

If the licensing authority confronts with the fact that the license holder hides some information or has given false or wrong information it may suspend or revoke his license. 

Beach of a condition

If in case any condition for giving license is contravened and breached or there was a non-compliance of the notice by the holder of a license. 

Application for revoking of license

The holder himself has given the application for revocation of license to the licensing authority.

Holder convicted by the court

When the holder of the license is convicted by the court, then his license may be suspended or revoked. 

Hence, the High courts, appellate courts, the central government has the power to suspend the license. The holders are supposed to submit their license to the authority as soon as it is suspended or revoked.

Renewal of license

For the renewal of arm license holder may write an application to the district magistrate in the format prescribed below:

Latest development regarding arms rule in India 

The government has come up with the latest Arms Rule 2016 which supersedes Arms Rules 1962, every person who is applying for the license must undergo a prior procedure:

  1. Arms and ammunition safety training course, which involves basic arms and ammunition safety practices like firing technique and procedure, safe handling and carry procedures, care of arms and ammunition and their safe storage and transportation.
  2. The defence rules say that the granting authority will grant the license to only those people who have an immediate threat to their life because of the geographical reasons pertaining to the residents near borders or frequent chances of attacks by militants. Apart from them, people holding important public office like a government official, MLA, MP or their family members may be given the license. 
  3. According to the new rule, the granting authority must ask for a report from the nearest police station and after receiving the report he must agree or refuse to grant license within sixty days after the submission of the report.

Who can become a gun dealer?

A person who is willing to take the license must give written notification to the nearest police station. Further, a person needs to fill the ATF form which asks for the details including business name, contact details, tax ID number and zoning description. Then the application must be taken to the nearest law enforcement agency for the fingerprint, which may charge a fee, which differs from place to place. For fulfilling a procedure a fee is applicable and after the fulfillment of the procedure a person gets call for interview from ATF and if the AFT is satisfied then a gun dealer gets approval.

How to get gun shop license?

The gun dealers has been granted a license after filling the Form XI, XII, XIII or XIV shall be issued a composite license in Form VIII for the gun shop and also for the deposit of arms. These licenses are issued by the state government and renewed by the District Magistrate. Moreover, a dealer who wish to extend a service of the repairs of firearms have to obtain a license by filling a Form IX/ IX-A whichever is applicable.

Who can acquire guns without license?

Defence Service Rules empowers the defence personnels to have a gun without a license. Besides firearms issued under their service the military officials are given the privilege to keep one personal firearm. The only condition is that they need to inform about the same to their Commissioned Officer (CO) and make their CO enter the details including serial number of that gun in the register. 

Gun From for different locations

Guns For customers

Address of the factory

Contact details

Price

0.32″ Revolver MK-III

The General Manager,

Field Gun Factory,

Kalpi Road, Kanpur, UP.

PIN – 208009

0512-2295100-04

64,000 Rupees excluding tax

0.32″ Revolver (Long Barrel) (ANMOL)

The General Manager,

Small Arms Factory,

Kalpi Road, Kanpur, UP.

PIN – 208009

0512-2295042-46

87,500 Rupees excluding tax

0.32″ Revolver MK-III(L) (Nirbheek)

The General Manager,

Field Gun Factory,

Kalpi Road, Kanpur, UP.

PIN – 208009

0512-2295100-04

96,500 Rupees excluding tax

0.32″ Revolver (MK-IV)

The General Manager,

Small Arms Factory,

Kalpi Road, Kanpur, UP.

PIN – 208009

0512-2295042-46

68,000 Rupees excluding tax

0.32″ Pistol

The General Manager,

Gun & Shell Factory,

Cossipore, Kolkata

West Bengal

PIN – 700002

(033) 25575432

70,000 Rupees excluding tax

0.22″ Sporting Rifle

The General Manager,

Rifle Factory,

Ishapore,

P.O. Nawabgunj, Dist. 24- Parganas (N).

West Bengal

PIN – 743144

(033) 25937119-23

38,200 Rupees excluding tax

0.30-06″ Sporting Rifle

The General Manager,

Rifle Factory,

Ishapore,

P.O. Nawabgunj, Dist. 24- Parganas (N).

West Bengal

PIN – 743144

(033) 25937119-23

86,250 Rupees excluding tax

0.315″ Sporting Rifle

The General Manager,

Rifle Factory,

Ishapore,

P.O. Nawabgunj, Dist. 24- Parganas (N).

West Bengal

PIN – 743144

(033) 25937119-23

56,100 Rupees excluding tax

0.22″ Revolver

The General Manager,

Rifle Factory,

Ishapore,

P.O. Nawabgunj, Dist. 24- Parganas (N).

West Bengal

PIN – 743144

(033) 25937119-23

40,900 Rupees excluding tax

0.22″ Revolver NIDAR

The General Manager,

Rifle Factory,

Ishapore,

P.O. Nawabgunj, Dist. 24- Parganas (N).

West Bengal

PIN – 743144

(033) 25937119-23

40,400 Rupees excluding tax

0.32 Revolvers/ Pistols

Ordnance Cable Factory,

Chandigarh-160002.

(0172) 2650-577 /-526

 

Procedure to obtain license for the trade in Guns

Generally, it is a norm that a citizen can not import or export the guns based on the foreign trade policies. However, every general rule has certain exceptions and in this case also we have the exceptional circumstances, which allows to import any item from another country:

  • Primarily an importer must have a due permission from the concerned authority.
  • In order to know the procedure for getting permission from the licensing authority the importer must immediately contact the government agency.
  • Custom clearance certificate is the most essential document, under the import of the good. Moreover, the origin of the certificate must also be very clear. 
  • The imports of the goods from the least developed countries need to be certified before the export.

How many guns can be owned with one Gun license

On one arms license, a holder may own more than one gun. However it is conditioned that, each type of firearm needs to be exclusively endorsed after taking due permission from the license authority. The license holder may own a maximum of 3 firearms at a single point in time. 

Conclusion

Therefore, it can be concluded that Indian laws on firearms are very strict and curbs the urge of Indians to embody in themselves the American trend of acquiring guns. In this regard American laws are very lenient whereas Indian laws regulate a very lengthy and stringent procedure. Strict arms laws in India are the reason of elaborated debates and rebuttals.


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