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Licence Bullet-in

Do you really need to own a firearm? Do you know how to use a pistol? are some of the answers the police seek from a gun-licence applicant, reports Ravi Bajpai.
Hindustan Times | By Ravi Bajpai
UPDATED ON JUL 22, 2007 12:58 AM IST

Do you really need to own a firearm? Do you know how to use a pistol? Do you have the attitude and temperament to keep a gun? Do you have smooth personal and professional lives? These are some of the answers the police seek from a gun-licence applicant.

“An applicant must have a valid reason for possessing a firearm,” says a Delhi police officer. But having a valid reason alone will not guarantee a licence. The police also verify the applicant’s state of mind to ensure that he will not misuse the arm to harm himself or others. “This includes checking the applicant’s financial stability and personal life. Several applicants are eliminated at this stage,” the officer adds.

The application can, in fact, be rejected at any of the following stages. After a request for the licence is filed before the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Licensing, a Station House Officer (SHO) verifies the antecedents of the applicant. The applicant’s profile, including his financial, professional and family background, is prepared. The SHO then interviews the applicant.

If he comes out clean, the assistant commissioner of police interviews him, followed by the respective district’s deputy commissioner of police. If rejected at this stage, the applicant can appeal to the DCP (Licensing), who conducts the fourth and final interview. “While the going is a bit easy for retired army and police officers, property dealers and those in the construction business have an almost zero chance of getting a licence,” police officers reveal.

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