E-Citizen

Indian Arms Act 1959

Chapter I: Preliminary

1. Short Title, Extent and Commencement

  1. (1) This Act may be called the Arms Act, 1959.
  2. (2) It extends to the whole of India.
  3. (3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.

2. Definitions and Interpretation

  1. (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,
    1. (a) "acquisition" , with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions, includes hiring, borrowing, or accepting as a gift;
    2. (b) "ammunition" means ammunition for any firearm, and includes,
      1. (i) rockets, bombs, grenades, shells and other like missiles,
      2. (ii) articles designed for torpedo service and submarine mining,
      3. (iii) other articles containing, or designed or adapted to contain, explosive, fulminating or fissionable material or noxious liquid, gas or other such thing, whether capable of use with firearms or not,
      4. (iv) charges for firearms and accessories for such charges,
      5. (v) fuses and friction tubes,
      6. (vi)parts of, and machinery for manufacturing, ammunition, and
      7. (vii) such ingredients of ammunition as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify in this behalf
    3. (c) "arms" means articles of any description designed or adapted as weapons for offence or defense, and includes firearms, sharp -edged and other deadly weapons, and parts of, and machinery for manufacturing, arms, but does not include articles designed solely for domestic or agricultural uses such as a lathi or an ordinary walking stick and weapons incapable of being used otherwise than as toys or of being converted into serviceable weapons;

Chapter II: Acquisition, Possession, Manufacture, Sale, Import, Export and Transport of Arms and Ammunition

3. Licence for acquisition and possession of firearms and ammunition

  1. (1) No person shall acquire, have in his possession, or carry any firearm or ammunition unless he holds in this behalf a licence issued in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder:

    Provided that a person may, without himself holding a licence, carry any firearm or ammunition in the presence, or under the written authority, of the holder of the licence for repair or for renewal of the licence or for use by such holder.
  2. (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), no person, other than a person referred to in sub-section (3), shall acquire, have in his possession or carry, at any time, more than three firearms :

    Provided that a person who has in his possession more firearms than three at the commencement of hte Arms (Amendment) Act, 1983, may retain with him any three of such firearms and shall deposit , within ninety days from such commencement, the remaining firearms with the officer in charge of the nearest police station or, subject to the conditions prescribed for the purposes of sub-section (1) of Section 21, with a licensed dealer, or, where such person is a member of the armed forces of the Union, in a unit armoury referred to in that sub-section.

4. Licence for acquisition and possession of arms of specified description in certain cases

If the Central Government is of opinion that having regard to the circumstances prevailing in any area it is necessary or expedient in the public interest that the acquisition, possession or carrying of arms other than firearms should also be regulated, it may, by notification in the Official Gazette, direct that this section shall apply to the area specified in the notification, and thereupon no person shall acquire, have in his possession or carry in that area arms of such class or description as may be specified in that notification unless he holds in this behalf a licence issued in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the rules made there under.

5. Licence for manufacture, sale, etc., of arms and ammunition

No person shall,

  1. (a) manufacture, sell, transfer, convert, repair, test or prove, or
  2. (b) expose or offer for sale or transfer or have in his possession for sale, transfer, conversion, repair, test or proof.

Chapter III: Provisions Relating to Licences

13. Grant of licences

  1. (1) An application for the grant of a licence under Chapter II shall be made to the licensing authority and shall be in such form, contain such particulars and be accompanied by such fee, if any, as may be prescribed.
  2. (2) On receipt of an application, the licensing authority, after making such inquiry, if any, as it may consider necessary, shall, subject to the other provisions of this Chapter, by order in writing either grant the licence or refuse to grant the same.
  3. (3) The licensing authority shall grant,
    1. (a) a licence under section 3 where the licence is required,
      1. (i) by a citizen of India in respect of a smooth bore gun having a barrel of not less than twenty inches in length to be used for protection or sport or in respect of a muzzle loading gun to be used for bona fide crop protection:
      2. (ii) in respect of a point 22 bore rifle or an air rifle to be used for target practice by a member of a rifle club or rifle association licensed or recognised by the Central Government;
    2. (b) a licence under section 3 in any other case or a licence under section 4, section 5, section 6, section 10 or section 12, if the licensing authority is satisfied that the person by whom the licence is required has a good reason for obtaining the same.

14. Refusal of licences

  1. (1) Notwithstanding anything in section 13, the licensing authority shall refuse to grant,
    1. (a) a licence under section 3, section 4 or section 5 where such licence is required in respect of any prohibited arms or prohibited ammunition;
    2. (b) a licence in any other case under Chapter II,
      1. (i) where such licence is required by a person whom the licensing authority has reason to believe,
        1. (1) to be prohibited by this Act or by any other low for the time being in force from acquiring, having in his possession or carrying any arms or ammunition, or
        2. (2) to be of unsound mind, or
        3. (3) to be for any reason unfit for a licence under this Act; or

15. Duration and renewal of licence

  1. (1) A licence under section 3 shall, unless revoked earlier, continue in force for a period of three years from the date on which it is granted.:

    Provided that such a licence may be granted for a shorter period if the person by whom the licence is required so desires or if the licensing authority for reasons to be recorded in writing considers in any case that the licence should be granted for a shorter period.
  2. (2) A licence under any other provision of Chapter II shall, unless revoked earlier, continue in force for such period from the date on which it is granted as the licensing authority may in each case determine.

16. Fees, etc. for licence

The fees on payment of which, the conditions subject to which and the form in which a licence shall be granted or renewed shall be such as may be prescribed:

Provided that different fees, different conditions and different forms may be prescribed for different types of licences:

17. Variation, suspension and revocation of licences

  1. (1) The licensing authority may vary the conditions subject to which a licence has been granted except such of them as have been prescribed and may for that purpose require the licence-holder by notice in writing to deliver-up the licence to it within such time as may be specified in the notice.
  2. (2) The licensing authority may, on the application of the holder of a licence, also vary the conditions of the licence except such of them as have been prescribed.
  3. (3) The licensing authority may by order in writing suspend a licence for such period as it thinks fit or revoke a licence,
    1. (a) if the licensing authority is satisfied that the holder of the licence is prohibited by this Act or by any other law for the time being in force, from acquiring, having in his possession or carrying any arms or ammunition, or is of unsound mind, or is for any reason unfit for a licence under this Act; or
    2. (b) if the licensing authority deems it necessary for the security of the public peace or for public safety to suspend or revoke the licence; or
  4. (5) Where the licensing authority makes an order varying a licence under sub-section (1) or an order suspending or revoking a licence under sub-section (3), it shall record in writing the reasons therefor and furnish to the holder of the licence on demand a brief statement of the same unless in any case the licensing authority is of the opinion that it will not be in the public interest to furnish such statement.
  5. (6) The authority to whom the licensing authority is subordinate may by order in writing suspend or revoke a licence on any ground on which it may be suspended or revoked by the licensing authority; and the foregoing provisions of this section shall, as far as may be, apply in relation to the suspension or revocation of a licence by such authority.
  6. (7) A court convicting the holder of a licence of any offence under this Act or the rules made thereunder may also suspend or revoke the licence:

    Provided that if the conviction is set aside on appeal or otherwise, the suspension or revocation shall become void.
  7. (8) An order of suspension or revocation under sub-section (7) may also be made by an appellate court or by the High Court when exercising its powers of revision.
  8. (9) The Central Government may, by order in the Official Gazette, suspend or revoke or direct any licensing authority to suspend or revoke all or any licences granted under this Act thought India or any part thereof.

18. Appeals

  1. (1) Any person aggrieved by an order of the licensing authority refusing to grant a licence or varying the conditions of a licence or by an order of the licensing authority or the authority to whom the licensing authority is subordinate, suspending or revoking a licence may prefer an appeal against that order to such authority (hereinafter referred to as the appellate authority) and within such period as may be prescribed:

    Provided that no appeal shall lie against any order made by, or under the direction of, the Government.
  2. (2) No appeal shall be admitted if it is preferred after the expiry of the period prescribed therefor:

    Provided that an appeal may be admitted after the expiry of the period prescribed therefor if the appellant satisfies the appellate authority that he had sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal within that period.

Chapter IV: Powers and Procedure

19. Power to demand production of licence, etc

  1. (1) Any police officer or any other officer specially empowered in this behalf by the Central Government may demand the production of his licence from any person whom is carrying any arms or ammunition.
  2. (2) If the person upon whom a demand is made refuses or fails to produce the licence or to show that he is entitled by virtue of this Act or any other law for the time being in force to carry such arms or ammunition without a licence, the officer concerned may require him to give his name and address and if such officer considers it necessary, seize from that person the arms or ammunition which he is carrying.

20. Arrest of persons conveying arms, etc., under suspicious circumstances

Where any person is found carrying or conveying any arms or ammunition whether covered by a licence or not, in such manner or under such circumstances as to afford just grounds of suspicion that the same are or is being carried by him with intent to use them, or that the same may be used, for any unlawful purpose, any magistrate, any police officer or any other public servant or any person employed or working upon a railway, aircraft, vessel, vehicle or any other means of conveyance, may arrest him without warrant and seize from him such arms or ammunition.

21. Deposit of arms, etc., on possession ceasing to be lawful

  1. (1) Any person having in his possession any arms or ammunition the possession whereof has, in consequence of the expiration of the duration of a licence or of the suspension or revocation of a licence or by the issue of a notification under section 4 or by any reason whatever, ceased to be lawful, shall without unnecessary delay deposit the same either with the officer in charge of the nearest police station or subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, with a licensed dealer or where such person is a member of the armed forces of the Union, in a unit armoury.
  2. (2) Where arms or ammunition have or has been deposited under sub-section (1), the depositor or in the case of his death, his legal representative, shall, at any time before the expiry of such period as may be prescribed, be entitled,
    1. (a) to receive back anything so deposited on his becoming entitled by virtue of this Act or any other law for the time being in force to have the same in his possession, or
    2. (b) to dispose, or authorise the disposal, of anything so deposited by sale or otherwise to any person entitled by virtue of this act or any other law for the time being in force to have, or not prohibited by this act or such other law from having, the same in his possession and to receive the proceeds of any such disposal:
  3. (3) All things deposited and not received back or disposed of under sub-section (2) within the period therein referred to shall be forfeited to Government by order of the district magistrate:

22. Search and seizure by magistrate

  1. (1) Whenever any magistrate has reason to believe,
    1. (a) that any person residing within the local limits of his jurisdiction has in his possession any arms or ammunition for any unlawful purpose, or
    2. (b) that such person cannot be left in the possession of any arms or ammunition without danger to the public peace or safety,

      the magistrate may, after having recorded the reasons for his belief, cause a search to be made of the house or premises occupied by such person or in which the magistrate has reason to believe that such arms or ammunition are or is to be found and may have such arms or ammunition, if any, seized and detain the same in safe custody for such period as he thinks necessary, although that person may be entitled by virtue of this Act or any other law for the time being in force to have the same in his possession.
  2. (2) Every search under this section shall be conducted by or in the presence of a magistrate or by or in the presence of some officer specially empowered in this behalf by the Central Government.

23. Search of vessels, vehicles arms, etc

Any magistrate, any police officer or any other officer specially empowered in this behalf by the Central Government, may for the purpose of ascertaining whether any contravention of this Act or the rules made there under is being or is likely to be committed, stop and search and vessel, vehicle or other means of conveyance and seize any arms or ammunition that may be found therein along with such vessel, vehicle or other means of conveyance.

24. Seizure and detention under orders of the Central Government

The Central Government may at any time order the seizure of any arms or ammunition in the possession of any person, notwithstanding that such person is entitled by virtue of this Act or any other law for the time being in force to have the same in his possession, and may detain the same for such period as it thinks necessary for the public peace and safety.

Chapter V: Offences and Penalties

25. Punishment for certain offences

  1. (a) manufactures, sells, transfers, converts, repairs, tests or proves, or exposes or offers for sale or transfer, or has in his possession for sale, transfer, conversion, repair, test or proof, any arms or ammunition in contravention of section 5; or
  2. (b) shortens the barrel of a firearm or converts an imitation firearm into a firearm in contravention of section 6; or
  3. (d) brings into, or takes out of, indya ,any arms or ammunition f any class or description in contravention of section 11, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a tram with shall not be less than three years but with may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.
    1. (1-A) Whoever acquires, has in his possession or carries any prohibited arms or prohibited ammunition in contravention of section seven shall be punishable with imprisonment for awith term witch shall not be less than five years but which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.
    2. (1-AA) whoever manufactures, sells, transfers, converts, repairs, tests or proves, or exposes or offers for sale or transfer or has in his possession for sale, transfer, conversion, repair, test or proof, any prohibited arms or prohibited ammunition in contravention of section 7 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than fine years, but which may extend to imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine.
    3. (1-B) Whoever,
      1. (a) acquires,has in his possession or carries any firearm or ammunition in cotravention of section 3;or
      2. (b) acquires,has in his possession or carries in any place specified by notifiction under section 4 any arms of such class or description as has been specified in that notification in cotravention of that section; or
      3. (c) sells or transfers any firearm which does not bear the name of the maker, manufacturer's number or other identification mark stamped or otherwise shown thereon as required by sub-section (2) of section 8 or does any act in contravention of sub-section (1) of that section; or
      4. (d) being a person to whom sub-clause (ii) or sub-clause (iii) of clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 9 applies, acquires, has in his possession or carries any firearm or ammunition in contravention of that section; or
      5. (g) transports any arms or ammunition in contravention of section 12; or
      6. (h) fails to deposit arms or ammunition as required by sub-section (2) of section 3, or sub section (1) of section 21;or

        (i) being a manufacturer of, or dealer in, arms or ammunition, fails, on being required to do so by rules made under section 44, to maintain a record or account or to make therein all such entries as are required by such rules or intentionally makes a false entry therein or prevents or obstructs the inspection of such record or account of the making of copies of entries therefrom or prevents or obstructs the entry into any premises or other place where arms or ammunition are or is manufactured or kept or intentionally fails to exhibit or conceals such arms or ammunition or refuses to point out where the same are or is manufactured or kept,

        shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than (one years) but which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine: provided that the court may for any adequateand special reasons to be recorded in the judgment impose sentance of imprisonment for a term of less than (one years)

    4. (1-C) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub section (1B), whoever commits an offence punishable under that sub- section in any disturbed area shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.
    5. (2) Whoever being a person to whom sub-clause (i) of clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 9 applies, acquires, has in his possession or carries any firearm or ammunition in contravention of that section shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one years, or with fine, or with both.
    6. (3) Whoever sells or transfers any firearm, ammunition or other arms,
      1. (i) without informing the district magistrate having jurisdiction or the officer in charge of the nearest police station, of the intended sale or transfar of that firearm, ammunition or other arms;or
      2. (ii) before the expiration of the period of forty-five days from the date of giving such information to such district magistrate or the officer in charge of the police station,

27. Punishment for possessing arms, etc., with intent to use them for unlawful purpose

whoever uses any arms or ammunition in cotravention of section 5 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.

28. Punishment for use and possession of firearms or imitation firearms in certain cases.

Whoever makes or attempts to make any use whatsoever of a firearm or an imitation fire arm with intent to resist or prevent the lawful arrest or detention of himself or any other person shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years (and with fine).

29. Punishment for knowingly purchasing arms, etc., from unlicensed person or for delivering arms, etc., to person not entitled to possess the same

Purchases any firearms or any other arms of such class or description as may be prescribed or any ammunition from any other person knowing that such other person is not licensed or authorised under section 5.

30. Punishment for contravention of licence or rule

Whoever contravenes any condition of a licence or any provision of this Act or any rule made thereunder, for which no punishment ais provided elsewhere in this act shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to (six month) , or with fine which may extend to (two hundred) rupees, or with both.

31. Punishment for subsequent offences

whoever having been convicted of an offence under this act is again convicted of an offence under this act shall be punishable with double the penalty provided for the letter offence.

32. Power to confiscate

When any person is convicted under this Act of any offence committed by him in respect of any arms or ammunition, it shall be in the discretion of the convicting court further to direct that the whole or any portion of such arms or ammunition, and any vessel, vehicle or other means of conveyance and any receptacle or thing containing, or used to conceal,the arms or ammunition shall be confiscated.

Chapter VI: Miscellaneous

34. Sanction of Central Government for warehousing of arms

Not with standing anything contained in the Customs Act, 1962 (52 of 1962) no arms or ammunition shall be deposited in any ware house licensed under section 58 of that Act without the sanction of the Central Government.

35. Criminal responsibility of persons in occupation of premises in certain cases.

Where any arms or ammunition in respect of which any offence under this Act has been or is being committed are or is found in any premises, vehicle or other place in the joint occupation or under the joint control of several persons, each of such persons in respect of whom there is reason to believe that he was aware of the existence of the arms or ammunition in the premises, vehicle or other place shall, unless the contrary is proved; be liable for that offence in the same manner as if it has been or is being committed by him alone.

36. Information to be given regarding certain offences

Every person aware of the Commission of any offence under this Act shall, in the absence of reasonable excuse the burden of proving which shall lie upon such person, give information of the same to the officer in charge of the nearest police station or the magistrate having jurisdiction.

37. Arrest and searches

Any person arrested and any arms or ammunition seized under this Act by a person not being a magistrate or a police officer shall be delivered without delay to the officer in charge of the nearest police station and that officer shall,

  1. (i) either release that person on his executing a bond with or without sureties to appear before a magistrate and keep the things seized in his custody till the appearance of that person before the magistrate, or
  2. (ii) should that person fail to execute the bond and to furnish, if so required, sufficient sureties, produce that person and those things without delay before the magistrate.

38. Offences to be cognizable

Every offence under this Act shall be cognizable within the meaning of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).

39. Previous sanction of the district magistrate necessary in certain cases.

No prosecution shall be instituted against any person in respect of any offence under section 3 without the previous sanction of the district magistrate.

40. Protection of action taken in good faith

No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against any person for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act.

41. Power to exempt

Where the Central Government is of the opinion that it is necessary or expedient in the public interest so to do, it may, by notification in the Official Gazette and subject to such conditions, if any, as it may specify in the notification,

  1. (a) exempt any person or class of persons (either generally or in relation to such description of arms or ammunition, as may be spacified in the notification), or exclude any description of arms or ammunition, or withdraw any part of India, from the operation of all or any of the provisions of this Act; and
  2. (b) as often as may be, cancel any such notification and again subjects, by a like notification, the person or class of persons or the description of arms and ammunition or the part of India to the operation of such provisions.

42. Power of take census of firearms

  1. (1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, direct a census to be taken of all firearms in any area and empower any officer of Government to take such census.
  2. (2) On the issue of any such notification all persons having in their possession any firearm in that area shall furnish to the officer concerned such information as he may require in relation thereto and shall produce before him such firearms if he so requires.

43. Power to delegate

  1. (1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, direct that any power or function which may be exercised or performed by it under this Act other than the power under section 41 or the power under section 44 may, in relation to such matters and subject to such conditions, if any, as it may specify in the notification, be exercised or performed also by such officer or authority subordinate to the Central Government,
  2. (2) Any rules made by the Central Government under this Act may confer powers or impose duties or authorise the conferring of powers or imposition of duties upon any State Government or any officer or authority subordinate thereto.

44. Power to make rules

  1. (1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act.
  2. (2) the form in which and the conditions subject to which any licence may be granted or refused, renewed, varied, suspended or revoked;
  3. (3) where no period has been specified in this Act, the period for which any licence shall continue to be in force;

45. Act not to apply in certain cases.

Nothing in this act shall apply to,

  1. (a) arms or ammunition on board any sea-going vessel or any aircraft and forming part of the ordinary armament or equipment of such vessel or aircraft;
  2. (b) acquisition, possession or carrying, the manufacture, repair, conversion, test or proof, the sale or transfer or the import, export or transport of arms or ammunition,
    1. (i) by or under orders of the Central Government, or
    2. (ii) by a public servant in the course of his duty as such public servant, or
    3. (iii) by a member of the National Cadet Corps raised and maintained under the National Cadet Corps Act, 1948 (31 of 1948.), or by any officer or enrolled person of the Territorial Army raised and maintained under the Territorial Army Act, 1948 (56 of 1948) or by any member of any other forces raised and maintained or that may hereafter be raised and maintained under any Central Act, or by any member of such other forces as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify, in the course of his duty as such member, officer or enrolled person;

46. Repeal of Act 11 of 1878

  1. (1) The Indian Arms Act, 1878 (11 of 1878), is hereby repealed.
  2. (2) Notwithstanding the repeal of the Indian Arms Act, 1878 (11 of 1878.), and without prejudice to the provisions of sections 6 and 24 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 (10 of 1897), every licence granted or renewed under the first mentioned Act and in force immediately before the commencement of this Act shall, unless sooner revoked, continue in force after such commencement for the unexpired portion of the period for which it has been granted or renewed.
spacer

  • Jurisdiction Area of Police Stations
Go to Navigation