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Parliament Passes Arms Bill That Proposes Life Imprisonment to Those Making Illegal Arms
Replying to a debate on the bill in the Upper House, Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said heirloom or heritage weapons too could be kept if they have been de-activated.
Rajya Sabha in session (File Photo)
New Delhi: A bill providing a maximum punishment of life imprisonment for manufacturing and carrying illegal arms was approved by Parliament on Tuesday. The Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which also provides that a person can have a maximum of two firearms as against three allowed at present, was passed by a voice vote in Rajya Sabha.
The bill was approved by Lok Sabha on Monday. Replying to a debate on the bill in the Upper House, Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said heirloom or heritage weapons too could be kept if they have been
This was a demand made by several MPs during the debate. The bill also ensures that those using firearm in a rash or negligent manner in celebratory gunfire, endangering human life or personal safety of others shall be punishable with an imprisonment to two years, or with fine which may extend to Rs 1 lakh, or with both.
The bill, under which a person will be able to keep two licensed firearms as against three allowed at present, was approved by Lok Sabha a day earlier. Moving the legislation in the Upper House, Union
Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said effective control over arms and ammunition is very important for safety and security in the country.
He said the bill seeks to bring in stringent punishment for people involved in illegal manufacturing of arms while ensuring easier provisions for people with licensed arms.
"It is for national security that we have brought in this legislation. Illegal manufacturing of arms is going on in some places like small scale industry. We are proposing stringent punishments for people involved in such acts," Reddy said.
Husain Dalwai (Congress), Subhasish Chakraborthy (AITC), N Chandrasekaran (AIADMK), Sukhram Singh Yadav (SP) and Prasanna Acharya participated in the debate. The Bill seeks to enhance punishment for illegally
possessing and making prohibited arms, besides other changes in the six-decade-old Arms Act.
The Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019 also ensures that those using firearms in a rash or negligent manner in celebratory gunfire, endangering human life or personal safety of others, shall be punishable with an imprisonment to two years or with fine which may extend to Rs 1 lakh or with both.
As per the bill, those who own more than two firearms will have to deposit the third one with authorities or authorised gun dealers within 90 days for de-licensing once the amendment is approved by the Parliament.
As per the bill, the government proposes to amend Section 25 (1AA) of the Arms Act, 1959, to give punishment from the usual life term of 14 years to "imprisonment for the remainder of that persons life" for manufacturing, selling, repairing and possessing "prohibited" arms.
The minimum punishment under this section will be 14 years. Under the present law, the offence invites imprisonment of not less than seven years but may extend to life imprisonment mostly up to 14 years.
According to an estimate, India has a total of around 35 lakh gun licences. Thirteen lakh people have licences to carry weapons in Uttar Pradesh, followed by militancy-hit Jammu and Kashmir,
where 3.7 lakh people possess arms licences, most of which were taken on grounds of personal security.
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