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Government moves further changes to Arms (Amendment) Bill

Representative image.

Representative image.   | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

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The Arms (Amendment) Bill allows for a person to have a maximum of two firearms, as against the present norm of three.

Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday moved further amendments to the Arms (Amendment) Bill including provision of special status to sportspersons.

“There were many discrepancies in the six-decade old law making crime control difficult,” he said while introducing the amendments in the Lok Sabha.

“Many suggestions were received. I have moved an official amendment in this regard also,” he said.

The Bill was tabled in Lok Sabha on November 29. The Bill seeks to enhance punishment for illegally possessing and making prohibited arms besides other changes in the Arms Act.

The Arms (Amendment) Bill allows for a person to have a maximum of two firearms, as against the present norm of three.

Those who own more than two firearms will have to deposit the third one with authorities or authorised gun dealers within 90 days for de-licensing once the amendment is approved by Parliament, according to the Bill.

The government proposes to amend Section 25 (1AA) of the Arms Act, 1959, to increase punishment from the 14-years life term to “imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s life” for manufacturing, selling, repairing and possessing “prohibited” arms.

The minimum punishment under this section will be 14 years. Under the present law, the offence may invite imprisonment not less than seven years but which may extend to life imprisonment, mostly up to 14 years.

According to an estimate, India has around 35 lakh gun licences. Thirteen lakh people have licences to carry weapons in Uttar Pradesh, followed by Jammu and Kashmir, where 3.7 lakh people possess arms licence, mostly taken for the reason of personal security. Punjab, which witnessed terrorism in 1980s and 1990s, has around 3.6 lakh active gun licences.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 1:37:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/government-moves-further-changes-to-arms-amendment-bill/article30250794.ece

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