Arms holders told to surrender weapons

: The district administration has asked all licensed gun owners to deposit their firearms with the police ahead of the Assembly polls on May 16.

Licence-holders are mandated to deposit their guns in their jurisdictional police stations before the elections. There are 176 arms licence holders spread over Kozhikode (125), Koyilandy (29), and Vadakara (27) taluks in the district. However in the neighbouring district of Kannur, the number of arms licence holders is approximately 800, official sources said.

District Collector N. Prasanth said here on Tuesday that already people had started depositing their firearms at the police stations. This would be kept safe till the completion of the elections.

A screening committee comprising the Collector, who is also the District Election Officer and the District Police Chiefs of Kozhikode City and Kozhikode Rural, will meet at the Collectorate on Wednesday to take a decision on gun owners who have sought exemption from the rule.

These include mostly security guards involved in escorting vehicles carrying cash to banks and ATMs. The election code of conduct mandates arms licence holders to deposit their weapons at the police station. Stern action would be taken against those who violate the rule, Mr. Prasanth said.

Arms licence holders usually include bank mangers, businessmen, former police officers and ex-servicemen. Many also keep guns for self- protection or status symbol. Some had secured licence for crop protection. Those staying close to forestland had also obtained arms licence with the approval of the Department of Forest and Wildlife.

District Collectors in their capacity as District Magistrates are empowered to grant licence to Non Prohibited Bore while the Union Home Ministry is the licensing authority for Prohibited Bore (automatic or semi-automatic). The Home Department has already compiled a database of arms licence holders in the State. This was done in accordance with a directive from the Centre to prepare a nationwide catalogue of arms licence holders.

Licence-holders have to deposit their weapons at police stations before elections

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 7:06:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/arms-holders-told-to-surrender-weapons/article8387604.ece

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