New arms rules trigger business woes for city gunsmiths
The new rules have imposed strict conditions in the already difficult process full of formalities for applying for a gun license. A person, under the new rules, applying for a license has to present a health certificate, where it is stated that the person is physically and mentally fitUpdated: Oct 03, 2016 21:32 IST
Mohammed Ghiyasuddin, a Jaipur-based gun dealer and Bharat Armoury’s owner, has lost more than half of his customers after the central government brought into force Arms Rules 2016 in July.
The new rules have imposed strict conditions in the already difficult process full of formalities for applying for a gun license. A person, under the new rules, applying for a license has to present a health certificate, where it is stated that the person is physically and mentally fit.
“Our customers have been consistently dwindling over the years because of the numerous formalities involved in applying for a license. But with the new rules, we have lost almost half of our business,” said Ghiyasuddin, whose ancestors were renowned gunsmiths.
He said the one change in the guns law that has hit the dealers hard was the fact that license has been made mandatory for even air guns.
On July 15, the union home ministry brought into force Arms Rules 2016 that not only make getting a firearm licence under the existing Indian Arms Act of 1959 more difficult but also bring air rifles, blank firing guns, certain types of battery-powered batons and even paintball guns used in games under the ambit of licence.
Manoj Jindal, another gun dealer in Jaipur, said: “This is for the first time that air rifles require license, too. Air rifles come in the range of Rs 5000-15,000 and are bought by families or young people, who are interested in target practice.
“Air rifle is not a weapon that is at par with other guns that require extreme discretion. But now the rules have been made so strict that it is almost impossible for a common person to buy an air gun.”
The gun dealers say owing to the numerous formalities involved in the application process, at times, it takes years to get a gun license.
“We used to do good business even a few years ago but ever since the responsibility of providing gun license have been given to the Jaipur Police commissionerate, many applications are stuck in the pipeline and officials are very slow to approve them,” said Jindal.
Apart from the health certificate, a person also has to produce clearances from different government departments such as the forest and is interviewed by the commissioner before a decision is taken on the application.
First Published: Oct 03, 2016 21:32 IST