Ordinary citizens don't have easy access to weapons but Members of Parliament (MPs) including those with criminal background have.
Data provided by the government to Right To Information (RTI) activist Ambrish Pandey shows that 82 MPs purchased guns seized by the customs department between 2001 and 2012 of which 18 have serious criminal cases pending against them.
Atiq Ahmed, a MP from Uttar Pradesh, against whom 44 criminal cases including murder and abduction is pending, got a Ruger rifle and a pistol in 2006 at a cost of Rs. 3.15 lakh.
Another MP Rakesh Sachan, against whom a case relating to kidnapping and attempt to murder is pending, got a P-Beretta pistol at Rs. 2.10 lakh in 2010.
UP MP Afzal Ansari, against whom at least two murder cases are pending, got .32 bore pistol for Rs. 1.50 lakh.
Other beneficiaries of the government's scheme having criminal record included former leader of BSP in Lok Sabha Brajesh Pathak, Kapil Muni, Sangeeta Kumari Deo, RK Singh Patel, Rakesh Pandey, Dharam Raj Singh, S Saiduzzaman, C Kuppuswami and others.
Till 1990, the government had prohibited allocation of the weapons seized by the custom departments to anyone outside the police force.
"Non-prohibited bore weapons could be given to government officials on lease, subject to the condition that they would be returned after their retirement or superannuation," the policy said.
After March 1990, the government decided to sell the non-prohibited bore weapons, at near market rate plus a 250% customs duty, to MPs and other VIPs.
And, a result many MPs got weapons more than one, even though the policy said that weapons were to be allocated to MPs, who don’t possess any weapon.