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Government of India amends provisions of Arms Act, 1959, permits shooters up to 12 firearms for practice

  • In addition to the firearms, the quantity of ammunition allowed to Indian shooters has also been increased boosting the Olympic preparations
FEATURED WRITER
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Modified 25 Feb 2020, 12:24 IST

MHA
MHA's move comes as great news for the shooters in the countries, especially in an Olympic year

What's the story?

Arms Act, 1959 and the Arms Rules, 2016 have been amended by the Union Home Ministry. As per the amendment, Indian shooters will now be permitted to carry up to 12 firearms and ammunition for practice.

The background

Renowned shooters and those who had won international medals in the sport were earlier allowed to keep only seven firearms for their practice. Meanwhile, aspiring shooters/junior level shooters could only keep 1 firearm in their possession as per the earlier rules. 

Shooting is an important Olympic sport that India has a very good chance of nabbing medals in the forthcoming Olympics in Tokyo.


The heart of the matter

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), keeping in mind the importance of the sport in India, has amended the provision in the Arms Act, 1959 and Rule 40 of the Arms Rules, 2016. With this, the quantity of ammunition that was fixed for the shooters for their practice has been enhanced. 

In a move that facilitates the sport, renowned shooters and international medallists will now be allowed to keep a total of twelve additional weapons under the exemption category. This number was earlier seven.

Meanwhile, in case a shooter is renowned in one particular event, he/she can keep a maximum of eight firearms (earlier it was four). If he/she is renowned in two events, then the maximum number of firearms allowed is ten (earlier it was seven). Furthermore, if a particular shooter is renowned in more than two events, he/she can keep a maxium of twelve firearms (earlier it was seven) under the exempted category.

For aspiring and junior target shooters, the number has been increased from one to two.

An official statement that was released by the MHA stated (as per ANI):

"The Ministry of Home Affairs vide its notifications dated February 12, 2020, has amended the provisions of the Arms Act, 1959 and the Arms Rules, 2016 to increase the number of firearms that can be kept by the shooters and enhanced the quantity of ammunition fixed for their practice for the year." 

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Besides the above exemptions, the Indian shooters will also be entitled to possess two firearms as citizens of the nation. This is under the provisions of the Arms Act of 1959. 

In a major boost, in addition to the firearms, the quantity of ammunition allowed to Indian shooters has also been increased. 

Here is the breakup:

For .22 LR rifle/pistol - 5000 (earlier it was 1000)

For other types of pistol/revolver - 2000 (earlier it was 600)

For shotgun calibers - 5000 (earlier it was 500)

The MHA has also made necessary amendments to the Arms Rules, 2016 and Arms Act, 1959. These clarify that Indian citizens would not require any license for the acquisition and possession of small arms that fall under the category of curio. However, Indian shooters must have the appropriate licenses to carry, use, and transport such small arms.

What's next?

The MHA's move comes as great news for the shooters in the countries, especially in an Olympic year. It will surely boost their preparations for international events.


Also see | Tokyo Olympics 2020: India's biggest medal prospects in shooting events (Part 1)

Published 25 Feb 2020, 12:24 IST
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