In a bid to check proliferation of both legal and illegal weapons, the government has decided to review the law for granting licences to individuals and keep a database of those issued across the country.
The Home Ministry says proliferation of arms, whether licensed or illegal, vitiates the law and order situation and holding of sophisticated weapons by conflicting parties directly contributes towards lethality of violent acts.
"Therefore, in principle, proliferation of arms needs to be curbed. In this context, there is a compelling need to
review the provisions of Arms Act/Arms Rules with regard to grant of licences for possession of arms and ammunition by
individuals," says the draft Arms and Ammunition Policy prepared by the ministry.
Applications will only be considered from persons, who may face or perceive grave and imminent threat to their lives,
for which the licensing authority will obtain an assessment of the threat angle through police authorities.
Section 13(2A) of the Arms Act empowers the licensing authority not to wait for the police report, if the same is
not received within the prescribed time. The government proposed to delete this provision and decided that no arms
licence will be issued without police verification.
The Home Ministry has also decided to include a provision obliging the licensing authority to maintain a database and to
share it with the Central government which will also maintain a national database.
At present, there is no provision in the Arms Act/Arms Rule requiring a licensing authority to maintain a comprehensive and complete database of all licences issued.