The Bill seeks to ensure that Arms licences are issued to the bonafide persons by the licensing authority concerned after due verifications. It sets the time for Police Verification and report submission to sixty days. In case this is not done, the authority is deemed to give valid reasons or punitive action can be initiated. No discretion would be allowed in granting the licence without receipt of the verification report.
The Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2010 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on August 25, 2010 by the Minister of Home Affairs, Shri P. Chidambaram. The Bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Home Affairs which is scheduled to submit its report within three months.
- The Bill amends the Arms Act, 1959, which regulates the acquisition and transfer of arms and ammunition.
- The Act requires a person to obtain a licence if he wants to acquire a firearm or ammunition. The procedure for obtaining such licence is laid down. On receiving an application, the licensing authority shall ask for a report from the nearest police station within a prescribed time.
- The Bill amends this provision to specify that the report has to be sent by the officer in charge of the nearest police station within 60 days and record reasons for failure to do so.
- The licensing authority may recommend to the concerned authorities, initiation of punitive action against any police officer if he fails to submit the report or the reasons for failure to do so are not convincing. It shall be seen as dereliction of duty under the applicable service rules.
- The Act allows the licensing authority to issue a licence if the police report does not reach him within the prescribed time. The Bill does away with this power of the licensing authority.