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J&K revokes four-year-old ban on issuance of fresh gun licences

The administration of the Union Territory imposed additional conditions besides the provisions of the Arms Act, 1959 and Arms Rules, 2016 for fresh individual arms licences.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Thursday revoked nearly four-year-old ban on issuance of fresh gun licenses to individuals. An order issued by additional chief secretary, the Home Department, Raj Kumar Goyal, withdrew the restriction imposed on the district magistrates in the Union Territory of J&K for issuing fresh individual arms licenses.

It has been ordered that all the concerned officials, including district magistrates (licensing authorities), to adhere to the additional conditions besides following the provisions of the Arms Act, 1959 and Arms Rules, 2016. The fresh conditions require the district magistrates, while considering an application for grant of individual arms license, to necessarily obtain Aadhaar card as a proof of identity.

The CBI was assigned the investigation of complaints of DCs of various districts between 2012 and 2016 fraudulently and illegally issuing bulk arms licences. The investigating agency conducted searches in multiple locations in Jammu and Kashmir and other states in connection with investigation in the illegal arms licence case. Several heads have rolled during the investigation.

The district magistrates shall ensure that they entertain only such applications for grant of license or for accessing any other service from an applicant, who is a resident of that particular district and in no case they shall either grant a license or renew a license of an applicant not residing within the jurisdiction of their district, reads the order.

It said that for ascertaining the area of residence of an applicant, a specific report from the Police, certifying the same, shall be obtained by the District Magistrate before processing any application and in no case, the district magistrates shall deviate from the Rules 17 and Rule 24 of Arms Rules, 2016, concerning addresses of the licensee.

The district magistrates, it said, shall obtain a report from CID Wing of J&K Police, regarding the character and antecedents of the applicant, in addition to the Police verification prescribed under Arms Rules, 2016, in order to ensure that the licensing authority is in a position to ascertain the suitability of granting license in each individual case based on the assessment made by CID particularly with regard to the conduct of the applicant in social and public life, as also the internal security considerations.