The Centre is all set to bring amendment to the Arms Act, 1959 for giving more teeth to it.
The ‘prohibited’ arms makers and those who carry illegal firearms are likely to spend the reminder of their life in prison.
The union home ministry is planning to amend the Section 25 (1AA) of the Arms Act, 1959 and the bill is likely to be tabled in the winter session of the Parliament.
According to the draft bill, for manufacturing, selling, repairing and possessing ‘prohibited’ arms, one will get ‘imprisonment for the remainder’ of his or her life.
The minimum punishment under this section will be 14 years.
As per the draft Arms (Amendment) Bill, anyone who is possessing more than one licensed gun will have to retain only one gun and deposit the others with the authorities, says a media report.
The Centre has planned to ban the practice of granting multiple licences to an individual.
However, only sportspersons can possess a third weapon (.22 calibre rifle), if they are “a dedicated sportsperson whose participation in shooting sports has been recognised in national or international events in the last two years by the central government”.
Another media report quoted a home ministry official as saying that the draft of the proposed law covers areas like illegal trafficking of arms, tracking arms and their components from manufacturers to end users, organised crime, organised crime syndicates, and celebratory firing.
Jail term has been proposed to extend up to two years or fine up to Rs 1 lakh or both for those indulging in ‘celebratory gunfire’ which can endanger human life.
Amendments in the Arms Act, 1959, defines ‘celebratory gunfire’ as use of firearms in public gatherings, religious places, marriage parties or other functions.
According to an estimate, India has a total of around 35 lakh gun licences.
It has been reported that the home ministry has discussed the proposed amendments in the Arms Act with the home secretaries and police chiefs of Manipur, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Kerala and Maharashtra.