Rich folks dealing in cash applying for gun licences

Rich folks dealing in cash applying for gun licences

Rich folks dealing in cash applying for gun licences

The rich and the powerful in Bengaluru are seeking gun licences in big numbers, and one of the main reasons, according to the police, is that they carry around a lot of cash.

The total number of licences issued in the city stands at 7,982. "We have seen a slow and steady rise in the number of applications," a top policeman says. Besides those who deal in cash, people who fear attacks by political and business rivals seek licences, police sources say. They wouldn't reveal year-wise statistics, but disclosed the numbers were rising "slowly and steadily."

People in big business are still transacting in cash, despite the government's push for digital transactions. An officer in the arms department says businessmen and ex-servicemen account for 70  per cent  of all gun licences issued in the city.

The ex-servicemen work for private security agencies. Some licences are given to sportspeople. "And besides politicians, real estate contractors, liquor barons and those living in forested areas top the list of applicants," he says. "Firearms are not cheap. Only those who can afford to buy pistols and revolvers apply for licences," he adds.

No misuse has been reported in recent times, and officials say licences are given only to "responsible citizens." Many affluent people also think it is a matter of prestige to own firearms. "The most common reason given by applicants is a perception of threat. We issue a licence only after verifying documents and doing a thorough background check," he says.


Who can apply?

Any able-bodied individual  capable of handling a weapon.


On what grounds is a licence issued?

Police must be convinced the applicant needs it for  self-protection.


Licence is revoked if  

Gun is used for crime.

* It is used to threaten  someone.

*  Weapon is lost.


What models do they buy?

Earlier, people went in for single barrel and double barrel breech-loading rifles because pistols were expensive. Now, most licence holders buy pistols.


Wallet factor: The starting price for a pistol is Rs 65,000. A pistol can cost up to Rs 10 lakh for the imported variety. In Bengaluru, imports from US and Germany are preferred, police say. Rifles are priced between Rs 20,000 and 50,000.  



High society thing


Most applicants are from posh neighbourhoods such as Sadashivanagar, RMV Extension, Hebbal, Ashok Nagar, and Richmond Town.




Are Mohammed Nalapad's guns licensed?


A picture with Mohammed Nalapad pointing a gun at a man has been trending on social media. No policeman Metrolife called would confirm whether the expelled Youth Congress leader holds a licence.

It is a light-hearted picture, but it also underlines how the affluent and politically powerful treat lethal firearms like toys. He had posted more such pictures on his Instagram page. His father and Shanthinagar legislator N A Haris would neither confirm nor deny the pictures were authentic.

Now that Mohammed Nalapad is languishing in jail for a brutal attack on a  diner  at a pub, Metrolife asked a high-ranking police officer what would happen to his gun licence, if he indeed holds one. The officer said, "People are permitted to use a licensed gun only for self-protection. Those who use it for any other purpose should be issued a show-cause notice and all their licences are liable to be cancelled." About Mohammed Nalapad, who faces an attempt-to-murder charge, he said, "Anybody who indulges in a crime will be issued a show-cause notice and have the gun licence cancelled."

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