SUMMARY OF WHAT THE HOME MINISTRY SEEKS TO DO THROUGH THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE ARMS ACT
1. Negating the constitutional right of every citizen to protect his/ her life and property by denying them the tools to do so
2. Glossing over & trying to divert attention from the ineptitude of the State in combating lawlessness by targeting law abiding citizens who are Arms License Holders/ License Seekers by equating them with common criminals and anti-national elements, in spite of the fact that the statistics published Home Ministry prove that an insignificant number of crimes are committed by Arms License Holders. Overwhelming majority of crime committed using other arms or illegal arms â€“ as criminals & anti-national elements DO NOT bother to apply for Arms Licenses
3. Creating a class of haves & have nots by providing exemptions for VIPs & VVIPs, in effect recognising and institutionalising a class system under the law, which is supposed to apply to all persons equally without fear or favour
4. The Right to Keep & Bear Arms promised to all Indians as a Fundamental Right as per the (All Party) Nehru Report of 1928, as well as by the 1931 Karachi resolution adopted by the Congress. Finally enshrined as a Legal Right as per the Arms Act 1959, which can be ascertained by the objectives of the Act. Proposed amendments seek to completely undermine this right, in effect leaving common citizens at the mercy of all manner of criminals & anti-national elements
5. Hon’able courts have recognised this as a right, by equating the right to keep & bear arms to Article 21 of the Indian Constitution
6. All India Arms License Endorsement to be made almost impossible for the average citizen, in effect curtailing a citizens Fundamental Right to protect life, liberty & property AS WELL as Fundamental Right to freedom of movement
7. Multiple proposals within the proposed amendments will lead to increased harassment of honest law abiding citizens and eventually promote corruption
8. Proposed centralised database of all Arms License holders, nothing but a cleverly veiled attempt at undermining individual State’s authority by encroaching on the state subject of Law & Order, AS WELL as treating all Arms Licensees as potential criminals and terrorists, effectively crushing their personal privacy and opening them up to constant harassment & needless government surveillance
9. Completely ignores demands by the public to make arms licensing easier, as considering the current security environment in the country, anyone anywhere can become the victim of random acts of violence or terror. Did the victims of 26/11 in Mumbai have any premonition of what was going to happen? Did they not have a right to be arms and prepared? Could they not have better defended themselves, instead of waiting for security forces that took hours to arrive?
10. Strict licensing for semi-auto rifles & shotguns is a backward looking policy, considering that criminals & anti-national forces have easy & cheap access to fully automatic firearms in the black market and they are NOT lining up to get licenses for the same
11. Arms Licensing process should be made free & fair based on transparent objective criteria and not made stricter, as citizens today face more threats than they did 50 years ago
12. Indians found it easier to procure Arms Licenses as slaves under the British Empire than they do today, it is a national shame that our democratically elected government of the people, by the people and for the people DOES NOT TRUST THE PEOPLE!