Arms Laws

In India the primary law governing the acquisition, possession, use, sale, trade, etc. of all types of arms & ammunition is the Arms Act, 1959 and the rules made thereunder (the Arms Rules, 1962). You can download a complete copy of this in PDF format (updated with amendments up to 2014).

Arms Act 1959 & Arms Rules, 1962

EDIT: The Government of India has notified new Arms Rules 2016 on 15th July 2016. These Rules replace the previous Arms Rules 1962. While many aspects of these new Rules are in contravention of the letter & spirit of the parent legislation (the Arms Act 1959), they unfortunately continue to be in force – till such time that a proper legal challenge is mounted against them. You can download these new Rules below.

Arms Rules 2016 (in English)

Arms Rules 2016 (In Hindi & English: Pages 1-133 Hindi and pages 134-279 English)

A brief table of contents of the Arms Act 1959 is available below.

THE ARMS ACT, 1959

THE ARMS ACT, 1959

CHAPTER I – PRELIMINARY

1. Short title, extent and commencement
2. Definitions and interpretation

CHAPTER II – ACQUISITION, POSSESSION, MANUFACTURE, SALE, IMPORT, EXPORT, AND TRANSPORT OF ARMS AND AMMUNITION

3. Licence for acquisition and possession of firearms and ammunition
4. Licence for acquisition and possession of arms of specified description in certain cases
5. Licence for manufacture, sale, etc., of arms and ammunition
6. Licence for the shortening of guns or conversion of imitation firearms into firearms
7. Prohibition of acquisition or possession, or of manufacture or sale of prohibited arms or prohibited ammunition
8. Prohibition of sale of transfer of firearms not bearing identification marks
9. Prohibition of acquisition or possession by, or of sale or transfer to, young persons and certain other persons of firearms, etc.
10. Licence for import and export of arms, etc.
11. Power to prohibit import or export of arms, etc.
12. Power to restrict or prohibit transport of arms

CHAPTER III – PROVISIONS RELATING TO LICENCES

13. Grant of licences
14. Refusal of licences
15. Duration and renewal of licence
16. Fees, etc. for licence
17. Variation, suspension and revocation of licences
18. Appeals

CHAPTER IV – POWERS AND PROCEDURE

19. Power to demand production of licence, etc.
20. Arrest of persons conveying arms, etc., under suspicious circumstances
21. Deposit of arms, etc., on possession ceasing to be lawful
22. Search and seizure by magistrate
23. Search of vessels, vehicles arms, etc.
24. Seizure and detention under orders of the Central Government
24A. Prohibition as to possession of notified arms in disturbed areas, etc.
24B. Prohibition as to carrying of notified arms in or through public places in disturbed areas, etc.

CHAPTER V – OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

25. Punishment for certain offences
26. Secret contraventions
27. Punishment for Using arms, etc.,
28. Punishment for use and possession of firearms or imitation firearms in certain cases
29. Punishment for knowingly purchasing arms, etc., from unlicensed person or for delivering arms, etc., to person not entitled to possess the same
30. Punishment for contravention of licence or rule
31. Punishment for subsequent offences
32. Power to confiscate
33. Offences by companies

CHAPTER VI – MISCELLANEOUS

34. Sanction of Central Government for warehousing of arms
35. Criminal responsibility of persons in occupation of premises in certain cases
36. Information to be given regarding certain offences
37. Arrest and searches
38. Offences to be cognizable
39. Previous sanction of the district magistrate necessary in certain cases
40. Protection of action taken in good faith
41. Power to exempt
42. Power of take census of firearms
43. Power to delegate
44. Power to make rules
45. Act not to apply in certain cases.
46. Repeal of Act 11 of 1878

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