- Singer Sidhu Moose Wala’s death has brought conversations around gun violence in Punjab back to the table.
- But to say that Moose Wala fell prey to a culture he endorsed in his songs, like many other hit Punjabi singers, is a bit of a stretch
IS GUN CULTURE “ONLY” IN PUNJAB ?
- According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Punjab has reported 2,073 cases relating to arms between 2016-2020. This averages out to be about 400 cases per year.
- On the other hand in Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) , the district recorded, on an average, 1,204 cases every year in this period. In the last five years, the district has reported 6,204 cases.
- On the basis of population, Punjab also boasts low incidents of crimes reported under arms and explosives-related matters.
- Madhya Pradesh has the highest rate of arms- related cases.
- For every 1 lakh people, the state records at least 14 cases a year, which is more than once every month.
- Indore, one of its prominent cities, reports the second-highest arms-related cases in the country.
- In 2020 alone, Indore recorded 1,406 arms and related cases, which for a population of 32 lakh stands out at 65 cases a year and more than 5 cases a month.
- In Uttar Pradesh, this rate is 13 per lakh, followed by 9 in Delhi and 8 in Uttarakhand and Rajasthan each.
- In 2020, Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur district reported 1,570 such cases, Madhya Pradesh’s Indore district reported 1,556 cases, followed by UP’s Meerut 1,522, Bulandshahr 1,475 and Ghaziabad district 1,334
- Collectively, these districts, according to Census 2011, host a combined population of about 1 crore 65 lakh, which is nearly half of Punjab’s 2.7 crore population, yet they had reported 7,457 cases (clubbed together) than Punjab’s 431.
- While looking at Haryana, Enmity in the state has also claimed lives of many sportspersons. Gun violence is gaining ground
- The arms-related cases were 6.8 per lakh in 2016, which shot up to 8 per lakh in 2020.
- In Punjab, this has come down from 6 to 1.4lakh in the same period.
- Cheaper illegal guns have reached the hands of robbers, carjackers, gangs, score settlers, and the boys who aspire to be tomorrow’s mafia dons.
Gun Laws in India
- Preceding the Indian First War of Independence in 1857, there were hardly any weapon control laws in India
- The Indian Arms Act, 1878 was a demonstration controlling the assembling, deal, ownership, and convey of guns.
- The demonstration incorporated obligatory authorizing to convey a weapon, yet contained avoidances for certain gatherings and people, EG :- “all people of Kodava (Coorg) race”.
- The Kodava community has a long history with guns, and historians say that their culture is intrinsically linked with firearms.
- There are festivals in which gunshots are fired in the air, and a gun salute is performed when a child is born or a person dies.
- The Arms Act of 1959, and the Arms Rules 1962, of India, prohibit the arrangement, manufacture, proprietorship, acquisition, import, fare, and transport of firearms and ammo except if under a grant and is a stringent methodology
- Regular citizens with a permit are just permitted to purchase NPB firearms (non-prohibited bore)
- Non-Prohibited Bore weapons include arms such as- handguns of calibre 0.35,0 .32, 0.22 and 0.380. All civilians can apply for possession of an NPB by following the due procedure under Chapter II and Chapter III of the Arms Act 1959.
Procedure for applying for a Firearm License in India
- To own a gun in India, a civilian need to be minimum 21 years of age.
- Weapons are for just three purposes:
- crop insurance
- For a self-preservation permit, a regular citizen needs to demonstrate an unavoidable risk to life.
- Identity proof, residence proof, proof of age, proof of education, residence proof, 4 photographs, last three years’ income tax returns, character certificate after verification from eminent members in the locality, health certificates both mental and physical
- Police performing applicant’s strict background check for 2 months.
- The recorded interviews are sent for record keeping to the Criminal Branch and National Crime Record Bureau
- After this the authorizing specialists meet the candidate and the purpose behind their endorsement or declining of permit is likewise archived.
- The applicants whose applications are approved must observe mandatory arms handling course whereby they learn safe handling, firing and transporting a gun.
- The license granted must be renewed after every 3 years
- It is mandatory to carry a gun in a holster or a rucksack in case of rifles
LEGAL ACTION IN CASE OF NEGLIGENCE
- Whoever uses firearms for celebratory gunfire or in a rash and negligent manner shall be punished with two-year imprisonment and a fine up to 1 lakh.
- The proposed alterations to Arms Act stipulate prison term that can go up to life imprisonment for ownership of weapons looted “from military or police”, engaged in “illegal dealing”, and rash and careless utilization of guns
- In the case of Ganesh Chandra Bhatt v District Magistrate, Almora, Justice Katju held that if an application for a license to bear a non-prohibited weapon is not accepted or rejected in 3 months, the license is deemed to have been granted by the Government since the right to self-defence has been considered to be within the ambit of Article 21.
- However, this judgement was passed before the 1993 terror attack in Bombay and since then the judgement has been overruled and as of now the right to bear arms is solely governed by the Arms Act, 1959 and it is not constitutionally protected
- The possibility of standard residents conveying weapons is easier in certain countries (US) than other (India)
- This privilege has been allowed in United States during through Second Amendment of the Constitution.
- In the States, residents are permitted to convey arms to protect themselves as a private volunteer army can exist.
- The privilege is being confined by ‘firearm control enactments’, which limit the privilege as for certain spots or people.
- In India, it isn’t perceived as an established right.
- The Arms Act puts various obstructions regarding ownership of arms
- While keeping weapons might be viewed as essential for an assurance; but the privilege has been abused, as is clear structure expanding pace of wrongdoing executed utilizing exclusive arms.
- Along these lines, it gets fundamental to evaluate the precepts of the option to remain battle-ready concerning the overarching circumstance.
- In the United States, securing any gun is a sacred right(easyier than India ), yet in India it must be named as a benefit.
- No standard Indian resident can secure a weapon without acquiring a permit from the equipped permitting authority. The changed Arms Rules of 2016, make getting a permit fundamental in any event, for airguns.
Q) The Arms Act, 1959 replaced which act ?
- Arms Act of 1877
- Arms Act of 1878
- Arms Act of 1922
- Arms Act of 1942
- The Arms Act, 1959is an Act of the Parliament of India to consolidate and amend the law relating to arms and ammunition in order to curb illegal weapons and violence stemming from them.
- It replaced the Indian Arms Act, 1878.