Object of the Arms Act was to ensure that weapons were available to citizens for self-defence . However, today it has become more of a way to show-off!!

Image: Delhi HC

The Delhi Court observed that one doesn’t have a fundamental right to keep a weapon and its possession nowadays is more for “showing off” as a “status symbol” than for self-defence.

The judgement came while rejecting a private company official’s plea for an arms licence. Earlier, his request for the same was denied by the licencing authority of the police as well as L-G Anil Baijal. The petitioner had sought an arms licence on the grounds that he deals with cash ranging b/w Rs. 2-3 lakh on a daily basis and needs a weapon for his safety and to secure the money.

The court while rejecting his plea said – “We do not live in a lawless society where individuals have to acquire or hold arms to protect themselves.” It went on to say – “Possession of arms has become a status symbol. Individual seeks to possess arms mostly for the purposes of showing of that they are influential people…..”

About Arms Act:

The Arms Act, 1959 is an Act of the Parliament to consolidate and amend the law relating to arms and ammunition in order to curb illegal weapons and violence stemming from them.

The Act has undergone many changes since 1959, the most recent being in 2016 when the Union Home Ministry brought into force Arms Rules 2016 through a gazette notification.

Through this notification, the government not only made it difficult to get a firearm licence under the existing Arms Act, 1959 but also brought air rifles, blank firing guns (which are mostly used by the film industry), certain types of battery powered batons that deliver electric shock and even paintball guns used in games under the ambit of licence.

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