Aiming to allot unique id numbers to the arms holders, Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is going to create National Database of Arms Licenses system from April 2019.
It will include names of all arms licence holders, new or old and they will be issued a unique identification number (UIN). The move is aimed at keeping tab on authorised private gun holders, many of whom are often found involved in crimes and celebratory firing leading to loss of lives. It will also eliminate possibilities of issuing arms licence to persons whose antecedents are not bona fide.
The decision was taken by exercising powers under Section 44 of Arms Act, 1959 (54 of 1959) by amending the Arms Rules, 2016. These rules will be called the Arms (Second Amendment) Rules, 2018. Under Section 3 of Arms Act, it is essential to obtain arms possession licence issued by competent licensing authority, by any person for acquisition, possession or carrying any firearms or ammunition.
Under the new rules, every licensing and renewing authority will enter data in National Database of Arms Licences system from April 1, 2019, which will generate UIN. Any arms licence without UIN will be considered invalid. Besides, any existing licensee holding multiple licences will make application for grant of single licence in respect of all firearms held by him under his UIN to the concerned licensing authority.
In case of licence for restricted category of arms or ammunition, licensing authority concerned will issue new licence under the existing UIN of the licencee. Separate licence books will be generated in case of each licence, separately for restricted and permissible categories of arms and ammunition with an overall ceiling of three firearms under single