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Parliament Passes Arms Act (Amendment) Bill For Stricter Punishments

11 Dec 2019 3:16 AM GMT
Parliament Passes Arms Act (Amendment) Bill For Stricter Punishments
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The Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed the Arms Act (Amendment) Bill 2019 to amend the Arms Act 1959.

It was earlier cleared by the Lok Sabha on Monday.

By amending Section 3, the bill reduces the number of permitted firearms from three to one.

As per the bill, those who own more than two firearms will have to deposit the third one with authorities or authorised gun dealers within 90 days for de-licensing once the amendment is approved by the Parliament.

Under the present Act (Sec 25), the offence of possessing illegal fire arms attracts imprisonment of not less than seven years but may extend to life imprisonment mostly up to 14 years.

By bringing in amendments to Section 25, the Bill increases the punishment to between seven years and life imprisonment, along with a fine.  

The Bill seeks to ensure that those using firearms in a rash or negligent manner in celebratory gunfire, endangering human life or personal safety of others, shall be punishable with imprisonment to two years or with fine which may extend to Rs 1 lakh or with both.

The Bill also introduces a new offence of snatching fire arms from police or armed forces.  Whoever, by using force, takes the firearm from the police or armed forces shall be  punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years, but which may extend to imprisonment for life and will also be liable to fine.

The Bill also defines offences committed by organised crime syndicates and illicit trafficking. An organised crime syndicate refers to two or more persons committing organised crime.  Possession of firearms or ammunition by a member of a syndicate, in violation of the Act, will be punishable with imprisonment between 10 years and life, along with a fine. The Bill defines illicit trafficking to include the trade, acquisition, sale of firearms or ammunitions into or out of India where the firearms are either not marked as per the Act or violate the provisions of the Act. Illicit trafficking is punishable with imprisonment between 10 years and life, along with a fine.

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