Parliament passes Arms (Amendment) Bill 2019: Provides life imprisonment for possessing illegal weapons
The Arms (Amendment) Bill 2019 provides for life imprisonment for illegal possession of weapons or fine of one lakh rupees.
The Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed in the Rajya Sabha on December 11. It was already passed in Lok Sabha. The bill provides for life imprisonment for illegal possession of weapons or fine of one lakh rupees or both. The Bill aims to extend the validity of arms licenses from three years to five years.
- The government has proposed that serial number should be written on each bullet to monitor the use of the bullets.
- It provides for stringent punishment measures against those who will be involved in making such weapons, transporting them from one place to another and indulging in their illegal use.
- However, the new bill allows license holders to own two guns.
- The government believes that this bill will put a ban on illegal weapons, as most of the crimes are committed with illegal and non-licensed weapons.
- It was also said that the government will make arrangements for e-license.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Kishan Reddy said while responding to the discussion that there were many discrepancies in the Act of 1959 and they are being rectified through this Bill. There is a provision of life imprisonment for traffickers of illegal weapons. Apart from that, strict provision has also been made for those who steal weapons from the police. A provision of punishment of 7 to 14 years has been made for those possessing banned ammunition. Those firing on festivals, marriage and other occasions will now have to go to jail. In 2016, 169 people were killed in such incidents of firing.
As per the reports published in media, it was said that India has about 35 lakh gun licenses. It was also said that in Uttar Pradesh 13 lakh people have licenses to carry weapons. In Jammu and Kashmir, 3.7 lakh people have arms license followed by Punjab, which witnessed terrorism in the 1980s and 1990s, has around 3.6 lakh active gun licenses.