Gun licences cancelled to clamp down on Gun culture

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Recently, the Punjab government has cancelled 813 gun licences in the state to clamp down on the “gun culture”.

Why in news?

  • In 2022, the Punjab government ordered a complete ban on the public display of weapons and songs glorifying violence.
  • The order also called for a review of all licenses issued within 3 months and barred the issuance of new licenses for the next 3 months, except in extraordinary circumstances.

What are the acts related to arms in India?

  • The Indian Arms Act of 1959 was passed after India attained independence.
  • It scrapped the erstwhile Act of 1878, passed by the British that restricted Indians from possessing firearms.
  • The act was amended in 2019 decreasing the number of licensed firearms allowed per person.
  • Conditions under the act
    • No one can acquire, possess or carry any firearms in India without a license.
    • The Act bars one person from carrying more than one firearm.
    • It prevents persons of unsound mind or those out on bond from getting such a license.
    • Validity: The validity of a firearm license was increased from 3 years to 5 years (2019 amendment).

What are the types of Licenses?

  • Non- prohibited bore (NPB): Indian citizens aged 21 years and above are eligible to get Non-Prohibited Bore (NPB) guns and these are issued by the state governments.
  • Prohibited bore (PB): Prohibited Bore guns can only be issued to defence personnel or persons facing imminent threats to life and these are issued by the Central Government or Ministry of Home Affairs.


Q1) Who introduced the Arms Act of 1878?

The Arms Act of 1878 was introduced by Viceroy Lord Lytton and was discriminatory in nature as it allowed only Europeans to possess firearms without licence.

Source: Punjab govt cancels 813 gun licenses in the state: Who can possess firearms under the Indian Arms Act?