File Copyright Online - File mutual Divorce in Delhi - Online Legal Advice - Lawyers in India

Law on Firearm

The law on firearms in India is governed by Indian Arms Act 1959 which provides guidelines for keeping arms. It is an act of parliament which has repealed the earlier act of 1878 and this act has been passed only to curb the menace of keeping illegal weapons and possible threat of violence arising from them and made impossible for Indian to keep weapons because to ensure that if there were any Indian uprising it would be less effective also the Arms Rules 1962 of India prohibits the sale, manufacture, possession, acquisition, import, export and transport of firearms and ammunition unless under a license and is a stringent process. Indian Government has monopoly over production and sale of firearms, with the exception of some breech loading smooth bore shotguns, of which a limited number may be produced and imported.

The Arms Act classifies firearms into two categories: Prohibited Bore and Non-Prohibited Bore where all semi-automatic and fully automatic firearms fall under the Prohibited Bore category. Any firearm which can chamber and fire ammunition of the caliber .303, 7.62mm; 410,380; .455; .45 rimless; 9mm is specified as Prohibited Bore under The Arms Act of 1962. Smooth bore guns having barrel of less than 20" in length are also specified as Prohibited Bore guns.

History of The Act:
In India during British rule the arms act 1878 was passed by Britishers.

After the 1857 Revolt, the responsibility of ruling India was taken by the Britishers and in 1858 Lord Lytton became the Viceroy of India and The Indian Arms Act of 1878 was enacted during Lord Lytton’s time and this act provide that no Indians could manufacture, sell, possess, and carry firearms. But it was having exception that is that the English people were allowed to manufacture, sell, possess, and carry the arms and while looking on the act it seems to be reasonable but in practice it was very difficult for Indians to get or obtain license and it was an punishable offence to carry a gun without licensees for Indians and anybody who found violating the rules prescribed under this act for carrying arms was punished with imprisonment of three years and was liable to pay fine but an exception was provided in this act that was some groups and persons such as all persons of Kodava race were allowed to kept arms without licences .

Thus in one blow the British restricted the ownership of guns during the days of the Raj that is the period from 1858-1947. And in 1918 Gandhi voiced disapproval of the act because it was depriving whole nation of arms as the blackest and said if we want Arms Act to be repealed, if we want to learn the use of arms, here is a golden opportunity If the middle classes render voluntary help to Government in the hour of its trial, distrust will disappear, and the ban on possessing arms will be withdrawn.

Reasons For Passing Arms Act:

The British Raj popularly referred to as just ‘the Raj’ is generally accepted as the period from 1858 to 1947. And during this period India came under the control of British crown and in 1858 when the proclamation was made and Queen Victoria took over as empress of India and rule of east India company had came to end after this proclamation and this was the direct consequence of the armed insurrection against East India company rule in 1857-1858 by Indian soldiers and rulers and as a result of the first war of Independence was crushed and the British now turned their attention to governing this vast nation of 250 million people.

Before 1857 there was no gun control law in India. any Indian could own any weapon of any caliber but after 1857 they thought their empire will no longer remain stand because everyone was allowed to kept weapons and they passed the Arms act 1878 to prevent any such possible uprising against their empire and allowed only few groups to kept arms till it was amended in 1959.

And the Viceroy appointed a committee which concluded that local Indians should have restricted access to arms and weapons. It however made an exception in the case of Anglo Indians and British rulers who were free to own weapons. The gun license was introduced to restrict Indians from owning weapons. In 1877 the Indian arms act was promulgated and it remained in force till 1947 and another 12 years thereafter.

Is This Act Serving Purpose Successful Or Not:
Now the question arises how far this act has become successful in tackling gun related violence in India among civilians and answer is that it has not served the purpose for which it was passed and enacted as the India stands at second number in respect of murders and these fire arms are becoming much dangerous than terrorist because in the year 2000 some 252 civilian died due to terrorist and insurgency related voilances and in the same year 43,353 were murdered by criminals or in other words by ordinary people known to the victims The number of people murdered was 170 times more than the figure of terror victims. The year was not an exception. This has been a pattern since 2000.

And these figures put India in the world ranking at number second in the list of countries were intentional murders and homicides are high as per the data national crime bureau 43353 deaths occurred in 2012 due to guns and the Brazil tops the list among te list of countries having higest deaths due to gun voilance with 58000 in 2012. According to Robert Muggah, the founder and research director of Igarape.

In an exclusive interview with The Wire at the think-tank’s headquarters the Muggah said that in contrast to well-known gun violence in the Americas and Africa the problem of homicides is absent from public security and development agendas in India.

It’s not just the high murder numbers that are a matter of concern, the causes as analyzed by the monitor behind the homicides are even more worrying. Tens of thousands of Indians are killed in everyday casual violence with intimate partners or between youths who are inimical to each other. This kind of violence doesn’t hit the national headlines, but it does a follow a pattern that makes India a dangerous country and cities which are most dangerous these are UP and Bihar. Though gun-related violence in India, according to the Homicide Monitor, is concentrated in Manipur, Nagaland, Bihar, Jharkhand, Jammu and Uttar Pradesh, which together account for over 60 percent of all registered homicides involving a firearm, India is following the old pattern of a spike in the murder rate with rapid economic growth accompanied by income and social inequality.

This kind of explosive situation exists all across India, but it’s more pronounced in smaller cities. According to the Homicide Monitor data, the most violent places in India are not mega-cities, but rather mid-sized cities of between one and three million people. Four of the top five most violent cities in terms of murder by firearms are located in Uttar Pradesh. “Big cities like Delhi and Mumbai are not necessarily the most dangerous places. The smaller, medium-sized cities in India face the biggest challenge and the countryside too those cities are outside the public gaze, says Muggah, adding that unregulated urbanisation could be the reason for growing violence. Latin America transited from rural to urban society in the space of two generations; India is going to do it probably in less than one. So it’s the medium and small cities, which you have never heard of that are going to have the maximum concentration of homicides. You better be alert to this.

As per the data and reports as mentioned it is high time for India to take lesson from what has has happened in latin America experience in order to prevent themselves from going down the same path as the Globally, homicide rates have been declining. In India, the official homicide rate – as per NCRB data - was 4.5 in 2000 and today it is 3.5. The UN figure for India is still 4.5 it is not rising but leveling off. But the absolute number of murders has almost stayed the same since 2000. India doesn’t fall into the category of hyper-violent societies, but the still the high number of murders that take place in India make it one of the most dangerous countries in the world and it is time for India to immediately address this issue as the addressing issues like urbanization and job creation will take time definitely, but India can make a beginning by breaking its silence on the problems of everyday violence.

Authorities Authorized To Provide License:

Before 1987 licenses for acquisition and possession of both Prohibited Bore and Non Prohibited Bore firearms could be given by the state government or District magistrate but later the power to issue licenses for Prohibited Bore firearms became the responsibility of the central government and The licenses issued under tis act are valid of 3 years and after the expiry of the this period these licenses need to be renewed and this rule also covers the sale of firearms and both parties involved need to possess the permit.

Criteria For Issuing License:

The criteria which are considered during the issue of Non Prohibited Bore firearm permits are whether the person faces threat to life these firearm licenses are strictly regulated Prohibited Bore firearms criteria is even more strictly applicable for a person especially having a government position who faces immediate danger or threats, family members of such people and a person whose occupation by nature involves open threats and danger. Acquiring a Prohibited Bore license has become next to impossible as of 2014 because these are highly regulated. Persons eligible for Prohibited Bore licenses are also frequently rejected on basis of national security grounds. Exceptions are defense officers who are allowed to keep firearms without licenses under the Defense Service rule until they complete their service and a handful of professional shooters.

Types of Guns Permissible:

The most common firearm which are given to those persons who were eligible to keep arms under this Act are Double barreled shotgun of 12 gauge also known as DBBL 12 Bore , common firearms are0.315 Bolt Action Rifle (magazine capacity of 5 cartridges) and0 .32 Smith&Wesson Long revolvers (chamber capacity of 6 cartridges) these are some common arms which are given to license holders under this act.

Gun law in the United States:

Gun laws in the United States are found in a number of state and federal statutes. These laws regulate the manufacture, trade, possession, transfer, record keeping, transport, and destruction of firearms, ammunition, and firearms accessories. They are enforced by state agencies and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

In addition to federal and state gun laws some local governments have their own laws that regulate firearms. The right to keep and bear arms is protected by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. The second amendment to the constitution was established to protect citizens of the nation against the possibility of tyranny, arising from within their government. The importance of gun ownership was critical to the protection of all citizens after the British made several attempts to take over the stockpiles of gun powder of the colonies, which would have left them powerless to defend themselves against the king and his army.

Eligible persons:
The following persons are eligible to possess and own firearms within the United States though further restrictions apply:
• Citizens of the United States
• Nationals but not citizens of the United States
• Lawful permanent residents of the United States (commonly known as "green card" holders)
• Aliens who have been lawfully admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant VISA[21][22] if that alien falls under one of the following exceptions
1. admitted into the United States for lawful hunting or sporting purposes
2. possesses a lawful hunting license or permit issued by any US state
3. an official representative of a foreign government who is accredited to the United States Government or the Government's mission to an international organization having its headquarters in the United States or is en route to or from another country to which that alien is accredited
4. an official of a foreign government or a distinguished foreign visitor who has been so designated by the Department of State
5. a foreign law enforcement officer of a friendly foreign government entering the United States on official law enforcement business
6. has received a waiver from the United States Attorney General as long as the waiver petition shows this would be in the interests of justice and would not jeopardize the public safety under 18 U.S. Code § 922(y)(3)(c)
7. non-resident of any US state unless the receipt of firearms are for lawful sporting purposes
Each state has its own laws regarding who is allowed to own or possess firearms, and there are various state and federal permitting and background check requirements. Controversy continues over which classes of people, such as convicted felons, people with severe or violent mental illness, and people on the federal no-fly list, should be excluded. Laws in these areas vary considerably, and enforcement is in flux.

Ineligible persons:
Gun Control Act (codified at 18 U.S.C. § 922(g),(n),(d) makes it unlawful for certain categories of people to ship, transport, receive, or possess firearms or ammunition, to include any person:
• convicted in any court of a "crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year
• who is a fugitive from justice;
• any person under indictment for a "crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year"
• who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act, codified at 21 U.S.C. § 802);
• who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution;
• who is an illegal alien
• who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
• who has renounced his or her United States nationality/citizenship;
• who is subject to a court order restraining the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of the intimate partner; or
• who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence

The above categories are addressed on the ATF Firearms Transaction Record 4473 background check form. According to the US Sentencing Commission, approximately 5,000 to 6,000 people a year are convicted of receiving or possessing a firearm against one of the prohibitions above. In 2017, over 25.2 million actual background checks were performed in total.
Gun violence in the United States results in tens of thousands of deaths and injuries annually.

In 2013, there were 73,505 nonfatal firearm injuries (23.2 injuries per 100,000 persons), and 33,636 deaths due to "injury by firearms" (10.6 deaths per 100,000 persons). These deaths consisted of 11,208 homicides, 21,175 suicides,[7] 505 deaths due to accidental or negligent discharge of a firearm, and 281 deaths due to firearms use with "undetermined intent". The ownership and control of guns are among the most widely debated issues in the country.

In 2012, there were 8,855 total firearm-related homicides in the US, with 6,371 of those attributed to handguns In 2012, 64% of all gun-related deaths in the U.S. were suicides.

In 2010, there were 19,392 firearm-related suicides, and 11,078 firearm-related homicides in the U.S.[11] In 2010, 358 murders were reported involving a rifle while 6,009 were reported involving a handgun; another 1,939 were reported with an unspecified type of firearm.

Firearms were used to kill 13,286 people in the U.S. in 2015, excluding suicide. Approximately 1.4 million people have died from firearms in the U.S. between 1968 and 2011. This number includes all deaths resulting from a firearm, including suicides, homicides, and accidents.

Compared to 22 other high-income nations, the U.S. gun-related murder rate is 25 times higher. Although it has half the population of the other 22 nations combined, the U.S. had 82 percent of all gun deaths, 90 percent of all women killed with guns, 91 percent of children under 14 and 92 percent of young people between ages 15 and 24 killed with guns.

Gun violence is most common in poor urban areas and frequently associated with gang violence, often involving male juveniles or young adult males. Although mass shootings have been covered extensively in the media, mass shootings in the US account for a small fraction of gun-related deaths and the frequency of these events steadily declined between 1994 and 2007, rising between 2007 and 2013.

Legislation at the federal, state, and local levels has attempted to address gun violence through a variety of methods, including restricting firearms purchases by youths and other "at-risk" populations, setting waiting periods for firearm purchases, establishing gun buyback programs, law enforcement and policing strategies, stiff sentencing of gun law violators, education programs for parents and children, and community-outreach programs. Despite widespread concern about the impacts of gun violence on public health, Congress has prohibited the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) from conducting research that advocates in favor of gun control. The CDC has interpreted this ban to extend to all research on gun violence prevention, and so has not funded any research on this subject since 1996.

Firearms policy in the United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, access by the general public to firearms is tightly controlled by law which is much more restrictive than the minimum rules required by the European Firearms Directive, but it is less restrictive in Northern Ireland. The country has one of the lowest rates of gun homicides in the world There were 0.05 recorded intentional homicides committed with a firearm per 100,000 inhabitants in the five years to 2011 (15 to 38 people per year). Gun homicides accounted for 2.4% of all homicides in the year 2011.[2] There is some concern over the availability of illegal firearms. Office for National Statistics figures show 7,866 offences in which firearms were involved in the year ending March 2015, 2% up on the previous year and the first increase in 10 years. Of these, 19 were fatalities, 10 fewer than the previous year and the lowest since records began in 1969.[6] There was a further rise to 8,399 in the year ending March 2016, the highest number in four years, but significantly lower than the all-time high of 24,094 in 2003/04. Twenty-six resulted in fatal injuries.

Members of the public may own sporting rifles and shotguns, subject to licensing, but handguns were effectively banned after the Dunblane school massacre in 1996 with the exception of Northern Ireland. Dunblane was the UK's first and only school shooting. There has been one spree killing since Dunblane, the Cumbria shootings in June 2010, which involved a shotgun and a .22 calibre rifle, both legally-held. Prior to Dunblane though, there had only been one mass shooting carried out by a civilian in the entire history of Great Britain, which took place in Hungerford on 19 August 1987.

Police in the United Kingdom (aside from Northern Ireland) are not routinely armed.

Fatal shootings of police are extremely rare; there were three in England and Wales in the eleven-year period from 2000/01 to 2010/11. Armed response units are available to deal with incidents, and as of the 31 March 2017 there were 6,278 armed officers serving in territorial police forces in England and Wales.

Comparison of India With USA:

The massacre of at least 50 people in an Orlando, Florida, nightclub Sunday was only the latest and deadliest —in a long string of mass shootings in the United States. In America, such mass shootings are as horrific as they are common. Over the last 50 years, incidents in which gunmen have murdered four or more people have happened more than twice per year, on average. There have been 12 such shootings in 2016 alone. Despite repeated demands that lawmakers limit access to the deadliest guns, American gun laws remain uncommonly permissive. Omar Mateen, the shooter in Orlando, legally purchased the assault rifle he used to commit mass murder, according to early reports. Florida allows its citizens to carry concealed weapons after taking a 28-hour gun training course. Mateen possessed such a license.
In India, by contrast, gun laws are strict and gun ownership is rare. India ranks 110th in the world in civilian firearm ownership, with an estimated 4.2 guns per 100 people. America, by contrast, ranks first, with 88.8 guns per 100 people, according to the Small Arms Survey. In countries where civilian gun ownership is rare, civilian gun deaths are also rare. Conversely, gun deaths are generally more common among armed populations. Indian law permits citizens to obtain gun licenses, though deadlier weapons like automatic rifles are prohibited. Obtaining a gun license is far more difficult in India than in the United States, where the right to possess guns is protected by the country's constitution and citizens can buy guns without background checks.

Yet gun control advocates say India's strict licensing requirements are undermined by easy access to guns smuggled into the country through porous border areas in the north. You don’t have to buy with a license, because guns are so easily available from illegal sources,” said Binalakshmi Nepram, secretary general of the Control Arms Foundation of India.

We feel saddened about what happened in America, but we are also aware that a similar situation can happen in India, unless the government cracks down on weapons smuggling. Because among the 17,488 gun murders that occurred in India from 2010 through 2014, 89 percent were committed with unlicensed guns, according to the National Crime Record . Pointing to the low number of murders committed with licensed guns some say such licenses should be easier to obtain. Recent years have seen the emergence of a number of pro-gun groups who say allowing civilians to legally arm themselves will make them safer.

But Nepram disagrees. “If guns make us safe, America should have been safest nation in world. Yet Orlando has happened, and Sandy Hook, where school children were shot dead, has happened,” she said. “What kind of safety is that?”

As taking above facts into consideration the law on fire arms in India is strict regarding issuance of gun licensees to citizens but still India has 2nd highest number of deaths due to guns and that means the arms act has failed to make deterrence among people of India and now time has came to take necessary steps in order to prevent situations like as prevailing USA and others countries and government has to check where they are lacking in resolving this issues and take appropriate steps to tackle this issue in order prevent India from ranking at top of list and what is source of these guns who provide them and from were they come it is and issue which needs to be immediately tackle in order to prevent this situation becoming more worsen and make India free from gun violence as recently in India many deaths occurred such as in up murder of SUB INSPECTOR in UP and gold man who was wearing golden shirt and now I think it is not right to say unknown gunman shot dead any person and how he is unknown because we have strict law on issuing guns to people and even after that why some unknown person has gun in his possession and were from he got and who gave him and why government failed to keep vigil on it and control it as the present government is trying to strict law on cow related violence why not this as many times I saw firing in marriages and other functions so government need to redress this issue as it most dangerous for this country because government has failed to preserve ,protect the life liberty of their citizens by not controlling this issue.

Written by: Ishfaq Ahmad Shah, School of law University of Kashmir Srinagar

Also Read:

Nations Must Make Gun Laws More Stricter

Law Article in India

Ask A Lawyers

You May Like

Legal Question & Answers

Lawyers in India - Search By City

Copyright Filing
Online Copyright Registration


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi Mutual Consent Divorce is the Simplest Way to Obtain a D...

Increased Age For Girls Marriage


It is hoped that the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which intends to inc...

Facade of Social Media


One may very easily get absorbed in the lives of others as one scrolls through a Facebook news ...

Section 482 CrPc - Quashing Of FIR: Guid...


The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of t...

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India: A...


The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a concept that proposes the unification of personal laws across...

Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Legal...


Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various sectors of the economy, and the legal i...

Lawyers Registration
Lawyers Membership - Get Clients Online

File caveat In Supreme Court Instantly