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.
Accordingly, a provision for database will be made by amending the Arms Rules. National database, including data on Prohibited Bore (PB) weapons, will be maintained centrally by MHA.
The Home Ministry said requests from Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs) to grant arms licenses for possession of weapons in India has been rejected.