The Union Home Ministry has amended Arms Act, 1959 and the Arms Rules, 2016 to increase the number of firearms and ammunition kept by the Indian shooters for their practice during the year.
The provisions have been amended to facilitate the shooting practice of the shooters. As per the Home Ministry, shooting is an important Olympic sport in India and Indian shooters have excelled in international competitions.
The Home Ministry has amended the provisions through a notification issued under the Arms Act 1959 to provide adequate firearms and ammunition to the shooters for their practice. The amendments aim to facilitate shooters in practicing with various types of firearms.
Key Amendments in Arms Act, 1959
• According to the new rules, international medalists and renowned shooters are now allowed to have additional weapons up to a total of twelve under the exempted category. Earlier they were allowed to keep only seven weapons.
• In case a shooter is renowned in one event, he will be allowed to keep a maximum of eight weapons. If he is renowned in two events then he can keep maximum ten weapons. Earlier, the permit was four and seven respectively.
• If a shooter is known in more than two events, then he will now be allowed to keep a maximum of twelve firearms unlike earlier seven.
• For junior target shooters or aspiring shooters, the Home Ministry has decided to amend the rules to allow them to possess two firearms of any category, as against earlier one.
• The shooters will now also be entitled to possess two firearms as normal citizens under provisions of the Arms Act, 1959.
Key Amendments in Arms Rules, 2016
• The Home Ministry has amended the provision under Rule 40 of the Arms Rules, 2016, as per which, the quantity of ammunition that can be purchased by the shooters for practice during a year has been increased considerably.
• Under the amended provisions, the quantity of ammunition that shooters can purchase for .22 LR rifle/pistol has been increased to 5000 instead of 1000, for Pistol/Revolver the quantity has been increased to 2000 instead of 600 and for shotgun calibers, the quantity has been increased to 5000 instead 500.
• The Ministry has also made other necessary amendments in the Arms Rules, 2016 by amending the Arms Act, 1959, under the Arms (Amendment) Act, 2019.
• The amendments clarify that no license will be required for Indian citizens for acquisitions and possession of small arms falling under the category of curio.
• However, the shooters will be required to carry appropriate licenses, as prescribed to use, carry or transport such small arms. No ammunition can be sold for use without the endorsement of such firearms in the prescribed license of the owner.
• Further, the maximum number of firearms to be possessed by any person has been reduced to two from earlier three.
• Those who have three firearms have been given the facility to retain any two of them and deposit the remaining firearm by December 13, 2020.