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ARMS LAW FAQ'S

Individual Arms Licenses

Q1. What is the procedure for obtaining an Arms License?

Ans. This has been described in great detail within the Knowledge Base article - Applying for an Arms License in India

Q2. What leads to refusal of licence?

Ans.

  1. The license authority shall refuse to grant-
  1. Where such license is required in respect of any prohibited arms or prohibited ammunition;
  2. A license in any other case-
  1. Where such is required by a person whom the licensing authority has reason to believe-
  1. To be prohibited by this Act or by any other law for the time being in force from acquiring, having in his possession or carrying any arms or ammunition, or
  2. To be of unsound mind, or
  3. To be for any reason unfit for a license under this Act;
  1. Where the licensing authority deems it necessary for the security of the public peace or for public safety to refuse to grant such license.
  2. The licensing authority shall not refuse to grant any license to any person merely on the ground that such person does not own or possess sufficient property.
  3. Where the licensing authority refuses to grant a license to any person it shall record in writing the reasons for such refusal and furnish to that person on demand a brief statement of the same unless in any case the licensing authority is of the opinion that it will not be in the public interest to furnish such statement.

Q3. Explain about the duration and renewal of license?

Ans.

  1. A license shall unless revoked earlier, continue in force for a period of three years from the date on which it is granted.
  2. However, such a license may be granted for a shorter period if the person by whom the license is required so desires or if the licensing authority for reasons to be recorded in writing considers in any case that the license should be granted for a shorter period.
  3. Every license shall, unless the licensing authority for reasons to be recorded in writing otherwise decides in any case, the renewable for the same period for which the license was originally granted and shall be so renewable from time to time.

Q4. Explain how variation, suspension and revocation of licenses can be done?

Ans.

  1. The Licensing Authority may vary the conditions subject to which a license has been granted except such of them as have been prescribed and may for that purpose require the license to it within such time as may be specified in the notice.
  2. The Licensing Authority may, on the application of the holder of a license, also vary the conditions of the license except such of them as have been prescribed.
  3. The Licensing Authority may by order in writing suspend a license for such period as it thinks fit or revoke a license-
  1. if the License Authority is satisfied that the holder of the license is prohibited by this Act or by any other law for the time being in force, from acquiring, having in his possession or carrying any arms or ammunition, or is of unsound mind, or is for any reason unfit for a license under this Act; or
  2. if the Licensing Authority deems it necessary for the security of the public peace or for public safety to suspend or revoke the license; or
  3. if the license was obtained by the suppression of material information or on the basis of wrong information provided by the holder of the license or any other person on his behalf at the time of applying for it; or
  4. if any of the conditions of the license has been contravened; or
  5. if the holder of the license has failed to comply with a notice requiring him to deliver-up the license.
  1. The License Authority may also revoke a license on the application of the holder thereof.
  2. Where the Licensing Authority makes an order varying a license or an order suspending or revoking a license it shall record in writing the reasons therefore and furnish to the holder of the license on demand a brief statement of the same unless in any case the licensing authority is of the opinion that it will not be in the public interest to furnish such statement.
  3. The authority to whom the Licensing Authority is subordinate may by order in writing suspend or revoke a license on any ground on which it may be suspended or revoked by the licensing authority;
  4. A court convicting the holder of a license of any offence under this Act may also suspend or revoke the license. However if the condition is set-aside on appeal or otherwise, the suspension or revocation shall become void.
  5. An order of suspension or revocation may also be made by an appellate court or by the High Court when exercising its powers of revision.
  6. On the suspension or revocation of a license, the holder thereof shall without delay surrender the license to the authority by which it has been suspended or revoked or to such other authority as may be specified in this behalf in the order of suspension or revocation.

Q5. What is the procedure of Appeal as prescribed by the Act?

Ans.

  1. Any person aggrieved by an order of the Licensing Authority refusing to grant a license or varying the conditions of a license or by an order of the licensing authority or the authority to whom the licensing authority is subordinate, suspending or revoking a license may prefer an appeal against that order to such authority ( Appellate Authority) and within such period as may be prescribed.
  2. No appeal shall be admitted if it is preferred after the expiry of the prescribed period; Every appeal shall be made by a petition in writing and shall be accompanied by a brief statement of the reasons for the order appealed against where such statement has been furnished to the appellant and by such fee as may be prescribed.
  3. The Appellate Authority shall dispose of the appeal after given a reasonable opportunity of being heard.
  4. The order appealed against shall, unless the Appellate Authority conditionally or unconditionally directs otherwise, be in force pending the disposal of the appeal against such order.
  5. Every order of the Appellate Authority confirming, modifying, or reversing the order appealed against shall be final.

Q6. What is the process for an individual to import arms and ammunition?

Ans. The import of arms and ammunition by individuals is severely restricted in India. Only under certain circumstances may import be allowed, for more details please see the Knowledge Base article - Importing Arms & Ammo into India

Q7. What calibres are classified as Prohibited Bores/ Calibres?

Ans. This topic has been covered in detail within the Knowledge Base article - Prohibited Bore calibres & firearms

Powers and Procedure

Q8. In what conditions arrest of person conveying arms etc., under suspicious circumstances can take place?

Ans. Where any person having in his possession any arms or ammunition whether covered by a license or not, in such manner or under such circumstances as to afford just grounds of suspicion that the same are or is being carried by him with intent to use them, or that the same may be used, for any public servant or any person employed or working upon a railway, aircraft, vessel, vehicle or any other means of conveyance, may arrest him without warrant and seize him without warrant and seize form him such arms or ammunition.

Q9. Explain about the deposit of arms, etc., on possession ceasing to be lawful?

Ans.

  1. Any person having in his possession any arms or ammunition the possession whereof has, in consequence of the expiration of the duration of a license or of the suspension or revocation of a license or by the issue of a notification or by any reason whatever, ceased to be lawful, shall without unnecessary delay deposit the same either with the Officer in Charge of the nearest Police Station or subject to such conditions may be prescribed, with a licensed dealer or where such person is a member of the armed forces of the Union, in a unit armoury.
  2. Where arms or ammunition have or has been deposited, the depositor or in the case of his death, his legal representative, shall, at any time before the expiry of such period as may be prescribed, be entitled-
  1. To receive back anything so deposited on his becoming entitled by virtue of this Act or any other law for the time being in force to have the same in his possession, or
  2. To dispose, or authorise the disposal, of any thing so deposited by sale or otherwise to any person entitled by virtue of this Act or any other law for the time being in force to have, or not prohibited by this Act or such other law form having, the same in his possession and to receive the proceeds of any such disposal;
  1. All things deposited and not received back or disposed of within the prescribed period therein, to shall be forfeited to Government by order of the District Magistrate;
  2. The Government may at any time return to the depositor or his legal representative things forfeited to it or the proceeds of disposal thereof wholly or in part.

Q10. What is the procedure of search and seizure by the Magistrate?

Ans. Whenever any Magistrate has reason to believe-

  • That any person residing within the local limits of his jurisdiction has in his possession any arms or ammunition for any unlawful purpose, or That such person cannot be left in the possession of any arms or ammunition without danger to the public peace or safety,

The Magistrate may, after having recorded the reasons for his belief, cause a search to be made of the house or premises occupied by such person or in which the Magistrate has reason to believe that such arms and ammunition are or is to be be found and may have such arms or ammunition, if any, seized and detain the same in his custody for such period as he thinks necessary, although that person may be entitled by virtue of this Act or any other law for the time being in force to have the same in his possession. Every search shall be conducted by or in the presence of a Magistrate or by or in the presence of some Officer specially empowered in this behalf by the Central Government.

Q11. Explain the procedure of search and seizure of vessels, vehicles for arms, etc.?

Ans. Any Magistrate, any Police Officer or any other Officer specially empowered in this behalf by the Central Government, may for the purpose of ascertaining whether any contravention of this Act is being or is likely to be committed, stop and search any vessel, vehicle or other means of conveyance and seize any arms or ammunitions that may be found therein along with such vessel, vehicle or other means of conveyance.

Offences and Penalties

Q12. Explain about the penalty for keeping arms etc. without any authorisation?

Ans.

  1. Whoever-
  1. Manufactures, sells, transfers, converts, repairs, tests or proves, or exposes or offers for sale or transfer, or has in his possession for sale, transfer, conversion, repair, test or proof, any arms or ammunition, or
  2. Shortens the barrel of a firearm or converts an imitation firearm into a firearm,
  3. Brings into, or takes out of India, any arms or ammunitions of any class or description,

shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.

  1. Whoever acquires, has in his possession or caries any prohibited arms or prohibited ammunition shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years but which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.
  2. Whoever brings into, or takes out of India, any arms of ammunition,
  3. Whoever transports any arms or ammunition,
  4. Whoever fails to deposit arms or ammunition as required under the Act,
  5. Whoever fails to deliver-up a license when so required by the licensing authority for the purpose of varying the conditions specified in the license or fails to surrender a license to the appropriate authority, on its suspension or revocation shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine of an amount which may extend to six months, or with fine of an amount which may extend to Rs.500/-, or with both.

Q13. What is the punishment for using arms in contravention of this Act?

Ans.

  1. Whoever uses any arms or ammunition in contravention of the provisions of the Act shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.
  2. Whoever uses any prohibited arms or prohibited ammunition in contravention of the Act, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine.
  3. Whoever uses any prohibited arms or prohibited ammunition or does nay act in contravention of the Act and such use or act results in the death of any other person shall be punishable with imprisonment with death.

Q14. What is the punishment for dealing of unlawful arms?

Ans. The punishment for dealing of unlawful arms is,
Whoever-

  1. Purchase any firearms or any other arms of such class or description as may be prescribed or any ammunition from any other person knowing that such other person is not licensed or authorised under the Act,
  2. Delivers any arms or ammunition into the possession of another person without previously ascertaining that such other person is entitled by virtue of this Act or any other law for the time being in force to have, and is not prohibited by this Act or such other law from having, in his possession the same,

shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine, or with both.

Q15. What is the punishment for contravention of license or rule?

Ans. Whoever contravenes any condition of a license or any provision of this Act or any rule made there under, for which no punishment is provided elsewhere in this Act shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to Rs.2000 or with both.

Q16. Explain the power to confiscate the arms?

Ans. When any person is convicted under this Act of any offence committed by him in respect of any arms or ammunition, it shall be in the discretion of the convicting court further to direct that the whole or any portion of such arms or ammunition, and any vessel, vehicle or other means of conveyance and nay receptacle or thing containing, or used to conceal, the arms or ammunition shall be confiscated, provided that if the conviction is set aside on appeal or otherwise, the order of confiscation shall become void.

Q17. Explain about criminal responsibility of persons in occupation of premises in certain cases?

Ans. Where any arms or ammunition in respect of which any offence under this Act has been or is being committed are is found in any premises, vehicle or other place in the joint occupation or under the joint control of several persons, each of such persons in respect of whom there is reason to believe that he was aware of the existence of the arms and ammunitions in the premises, vehicle or other place shall, unless the contrary is proved, be liable for that offence in the same manner as if it has been or is being committed by him alone.

 

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