Want a gun? Your life depends on it

Those seeking gun licences will now be subject to intense scrutiny.

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If you thought getting a gun licence was a walk in the park, think again.

According to police commissioner Shankar M Bidari, now one’s life should be under threat in order to apply for a licence.

According to the statistics available with city police, there are 15,908 licensed guns in the city. Of these, long firearms like single barrel guns and double barrel guns comprise 8,340, followed by 5,384 short weapons like pistols and revolvers.

There are also 1,004 rifles and 1,180 double barrel muzzle loaded guns.

The police claim they have begun to verify applications for gun licences. They are going to check whether the applicants are involved in any criminal cases. If the applicants are not involved in criminal activities, or they are not anti-social elements, they have to prove a threat to their life.

In the year 2005, a total number of 303 gun licences were issued, but, it dropped to 184 in 2006. Similarly, 332 licences were issued in 2007 and the number of issued licences came down to 192 in 2008.

Applicants apply for licenses for different reasons, most apply for gun licences for reasons of self-defence and some apply for crop defence. "People who apply for self defence usually prefer short firearms like pistols and revolvers. In case of crop protection, they usually go for single barrel or double barrel guns," said Bidari.
Police say that some applicants also apply for gun licences for sporting activities like range shooting. "In this case, they usually go for both short and long barrel weapons.

Police say that licenses issued by the department will be for Indian-made short and long barrel weapons with a minimum of 10 rounds, which is legally permissible. We cannot issue licences for prohibited bores above .32mm. They also added that if it was necessary for the applicant to use more than 10 rounds, they would have to obtain their licence through special permission.

"Before issuing the licence, we thoroughly check the genuineness of the application or the reasons stated to acquire a gun licence. After these are authenticated we issue the licence,” said Bidari.

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