India: Government Demands License for Air Guns


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India is one of the worst countries for gun owners, lawful gun owners that is.

NEW DELHI: Air guns, which could earlier be bought off the shelf even from toy shops, will now be difficult to acquire as a license will be needed for all air weapons, including air rifles, air guns and paintball markers, irrespective of the muzzle energy or caliber or bore, according to the new arms rules notified by the government.

Not just that, a manufacturer of certain air weapons including air rifles and air guns having muzzle energy exceeding 20 joules or 15 foot-pound (ftlbs) or bore exceeding 0.177 or 4.5 mm will have to maintain record with ID proof of the buyer.

Recently, the Hyderabad module of Islamic State busted by NIA was found using air guns for target practice as the members were planning terror attacks. An air gun was recovered from them.

Intelligence agencies had issued alerts in past that air weapons were used by Indian Mujahideen terrorists for target practice and also by militants based in Kashmir.

The Arms Rules 2016, notified through a gazette notification by the home ministry recently, says, “Manufacture or proof test or both, transfer, sale, keeping for sale or transfer of all types of air weapons by a manufacturer, including air rifles, air guns and paintball markers or guns irrespective of the muzzle energy or caliber or bore shall be subject to licensing.”

Some officials said the new rules will make it tough to get arms license now, for restricted/prohibited weapons used by army, police, security forces and air guns as well, which were earlier easily available. Those looking to save their crops from damage from wild animals will also get arms license under the new rules formulated by the government.

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