Parliament passes the Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019

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News: Parliament passed the Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which seeks to amend the Arms Act, 1959.

Facts:

Key provisions of Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019

  • License for acquiring firearms:
    • The Bill reduces the number of permitted firearms from three to one.
    • It also increases the duration of the validity of a firearm license from three years to five years
  • Ban on unlicensed firearms: The bill prohibits obtaining or procuring un-licensed firearms, and the conversion of one category of firearms to another without a license.
  • Increase in punishment: It provides for enhanced punishment for illegally possessing and making prohibited arms.
  • New offences added: The bill adds two new offences:
    • Forcefully taking a firearm from police or armed forces
    • Using firearms in celebratory gunfire which endangers human life
  • Tracking of firearms: The bill states that the central government may make rules to track firearms and ammunition from manufacturer to purchaser