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Netas across parties call for revisiting Arms Bill in Lok Sabha

The Arms (Amendment) Bill makes provision that a person can have a maximum of two firearms, as against the present norm of three. 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 Parliament, according to the bill.

ET Bureau|
Updated: Nov 30, 2019, 06.58 AM IST
Arms Act introduced in Lok Sabha
The Arms (Amendment) Bill makes provision that a person can have a maximum of two firearms, as against the present norm of three.
NEW DELHI: A bill which seeks to restrict the number of firearms a person can possess to one from three was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

The Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which seeks to amend the six-decade old Arms Act, also has a provision on enhancing punishment for illegally possessing and making prohibited arms.

However, the proposed capping of firearms has met with resistance from both ruling and opposition leaders amid reports of some MPs, including ex-royals, trying to persuade the government to refer the bill to a House committee.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh has argued that if some states are keen to reduce the number of weapons, they may be allowed to do so without prejudice to the other states.

The Punjab government is said to supported most of the proposed amendments but had a reservations about restricting the number of firearms a licensee can possess to one.

The Chief Minister has also stated in the letter that only a very small fraction of crime was committed using licensed weapons.

BJP Rajya Sabha MP Harshvardhan Singh Dungarpur, while welcoming the overall intent of the bill, said, “I feel clause (3) of the bill needs a re-look as there are many people, farmers and others who live in isolated locations and therefore need more than one gun for self-protection. Further, there are inherited guns which are heritage items and art pieces and hardly used as weapons as their ammunitions are not available anymore.”

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