Shooting is an important Olympic sport in India. The Indian shooters have excelled in international competitions. Keeping this in mind, the Ministry of Home Affairs, vide its notification issued under the Arms Act 1959, has made provisions to provide adequate firearms and ammunition to the shooters for their practice. The Ministry of Home Affairs vide its notifications dated 12th February, 2020 has amended the provisions of the Arms Act, 1959 and the Arms Rules, 2016 to increase the number of firearms that can be kept by the shooters and enhanced the quantity of ammunition fixed for their practice for the year. These provisions shall greatly facilitate their shooting practice.
As per the new rules, now International Medalists/Renowned Shooters are allowed to keep additional weapons up to a total of twelve under the exempted category, which earlier was seven. If a shooter is renowned in one event, he can keep maximum eight (previously it was four), if a shooter is renowned in two events he can keep maximum ten (previously it was seven) and if a shooter is renowned in more than two events, he can keep maximum twelve (previously it was seven) firearms under exempted category. The junior target shooter/ aspiring shooter are now allowed to possess two weapons (previously one) of any category in which the person is junior target shooter/aspiring shooter. This provision shall facilitate shooters in practicing with various types of firearms. Apart from the above exemptions, the shooters are entitled to possess two firearms as normal citizens under provisions of the Arms Act, 1959.
Similarly, by amending the provision under Rule 40 of the Arms Rules, 2016 the quantity of ammunition that can be purchased by the shooters during the year for the practice has also been increased considerably. As per the new provisions, for .22 LR rifle / pistol 5000 instead of 1000, for other type of Pistol/Revolver 2000 instead of 600 and for shotgun calibers 5000 instead 500 can be purchased by the shooters. .
Apart from this, the Ministry of Home Affairs has also made other necessary amendments in the Arms Rules, 2016 by amending the Arms Act, 1959, vide the Arms (Amendment) Act, 2019. Through these amendments it has also been clarified that no licence is required for Indian citizens for acquisitions, possession of small arms falling under the category of curio. However, appropriate licence as prescribed would be required for use or to carry or transport such small arms. Without the endorsement of such firearms in the prescribed licence of the owner, no ammunition shall be sold for their use.
It may be noted that as per the provisions of the Arms (Amendment) Act, 2019, maximum number of firearms to be possessed by any person has been reduced from three to two. Those in possession of three firearms have been given facility to retain any two of such firearms and to deposit the remaining firearm by 13.12.2020.