Getting a gun licence in the Capital remained an uphill task in 2012 with Delhi Police being wary of issuing the documents.
While 1,109 gun licences were issued in 2011, the highest in five years, the licensing unit of the Delhi Police issued only 993 arm licenses in 2012.
The number of applicants, however, was almost equal in both years. The number of licences issued dipped because the Delhi Police rejected more applicants in 2012.
"Last year, we had received 2,023 applications out of which 993 were given licences. A year earlier, 2,008 people had applied and 1,109 were given licences. A licence is given only after verifying the threat perception," a senior police officer said, on the condition of anonymity.
Interestingly, the number of women applicants seeking gun licences also dipped in the bygone year.
"Last year, 44 women applied for gun licences. Of them, 24 were issued the licences. But the number was smaller compared to 2011. Then, we had received 51 applications from women and 33 were issued gun licences," the officer added.
According to a senior police officer, the number of new gun licences remained below 1,000 almost every year and the rise in 2011 was because of the murder of a jeweller in east Delhi's Krishna Nagar.
In February 2011, three armed bikers had shot dead a jeweller, Gaurav Gambhir, in his showroom in the Krishna Nagar area after he resisted an attempt to rob him. The incident sparked huge protests and jewellers were worried about their safety and applied for gun licences in droves.
Police said days after the murder, around 100 jewellers of the area applied for gun licences. Now, most of them carry their own guns - the police had issued gun licences to almost 40 jewellers of the area at that time.
"It depends on the need of the applicant. If they are dealing with cash transactions, we consider their applications. Sometimes, people apply randomly just to show that they have a gun. If the reason is not strong, we reject the application," the officer added.