Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019, during the winter session of the Parliament. While talking about the Bill, Union Minister Amit Shah said that “Sportspersons will not be affected by this, we have kept in mind that no sportsperson has any problem during his or her shooting practice.”
The bill seeks to amend the Arms Act, 1959. Also, the bill seeks to decrease the number of licensed firearms allowed per person and to increase the penalties for certain offences under the Act. Also, it introduces new categories of offences.
According to the Act, a license must be obtained to acquire or carry any firearm. A person can only obtain a license for up to three firearms. Meanwhile, the Bill reduces the number of permitted firearms from three to one.
The Bill alos provides a time period of one year to deposit the excess firearms with the officer-in-charge of the nearest police station or with a licensed firearm dealer. If the owner belongs to the armed forces, the firearm may be deposited with a unit armoury. Under the Act, the excess firearms will be delicensed within 90 days from the expiry of the one-year period.