Center allows manufacturers to improve the production of firearms

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Gun manufacturers are now allowed to increase annual production of firearms and ammunition, which is mainly destined for the 35 lakh private gun license holders.

However, under the latest Arms (Amendment) Rules, 2022, each month, gun manufacturers are required to submit online details of firearms manufactured, sold, or transferred or consumed for the month.

The Interior Ministry issued the new rules on Thursday through a notice in the Official Gazette.

“The manufacturer who has been granted a Form VII license under these regulations is permitted to increase the annual production of firearms or ammunition or to revise its licensed capacity by caliber by giving ninety days notice to the licensing authority and also to the relevant state government a request issued days after the end of the fiscal year and for which no further endorsement on the permit regarding capacity is required,” the statement said.

Upon application, the manufacturer must submit a detailed proposal for manufacturing capacity expansion or caliber revision of licensed capacity, project expenditures, financial resources and justification for economic viability and market needs forecasts, duly endorsed by the company’s authorized signatory.

Monthly online returns detailing production, sales, transmission and consumption must be submitted by the manufacturer by close of business on the last day of the month, the notification said.

The prior approval of the permitting authority is mandatory for any direct or indirect change of control of the company or in the event of a change in ownership or economic interest in the interest that results in a dilution of the Promoter’s interest below 10 percent.

However, prior approval is not required if the ownership of a shareholder who held less than 10 percent of the share capital of the company is increased to 10 percent or more, provided that the ownership is transferred between the two founders which is already approved by the approving authority would.

If circumstances arise that prevent a licensee from filing online returns, the local licensing authority will be notified immediately to find alternative ways to file the monthly returns, it said.

It is estimated that India has a total of around 35,000 gun licenses.

In Uttar Pradesh, 13,000 people have gun licenses, followed by militancy-hit Jammu and Kashmir, where 3.7,000 people hold gun licenses, most of whom were captured in the name of personal security.

Punjab, which witnessed terrorism in the 1980s and 1990s, has around 3.6 lakh active gun licenses, most of which were issued during the two decades that militancy engulfed the state.

The data shows that between January 2018 and December 2020, a total of 94,400 gun licenses were renewed with approval from across India, including 19,238 in Uttar Pradesh, followed by Jammu and Kashmir (14,172 gun licenses) and Haryana (12,230 gun licenses).

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