Celebration shots can attract two years in prison, a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Interior has proposed a two-year prison sentence or a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh or both for those who give themselves to celebratory shots that can endanger human life. The amendments in the, defines celebratory shots such as the use of firearms in public meetings, religious places, marriages or other functions.

Such celebration shooting, a common practice in certain communities, especially during marriage functions, has sometimes come to life even with boyfriends/girlfriends or their families becoming unsuspecting victims.

According to the draft Weapons Act (Amendment) of 2019, placed on Monday for opinions that will be sent before November 18, a person can acquire, own or carry only one at any time. However, it is proposed that the duration of the license be increased from five to five years.

Those who own more than one firearm at the time of the beginning of the new Law must retain one and deposit the remaining one within a year. These deposited weapons will be canceled in 90 days.

The amendments seek to broaden the scope of firearms for which a member of a club/association recognized by the central government must grant a license for use in shooting practice. Existing law limits it to a 22-hole rifle or compressed air rifle.

Other key amendments include an improved minimum prison sentence of seven years, which can be extended to life imprisonment with a fine, for the manufacture and sale of weapons and ammunition without a valid license or for illegally taking or removing them from India. According to current law, the minimum term of imprisonment for the manufacture or sale of weapons in contravention of Section 5 of the Law is three years, extendable to seven years.

A separate provision has been proposed to deal with organized crime unions engaged in the illegal possession, manufacture and sale of weapons and ammunition, listing the minimum prison sentence of 10 years and the maximum life sentence as punishment.

Those who acquire prohibited weapons and ammunition will be punished with imprisonment of not less than 7 years, but which can be extended to 14 years (the current provision is a minimum of 5 years in prison and a maximum of 10 years). In the case of weapons stolen or taken away by police or armed forces, the proposed sentence is a 10-year prison sentence, which can be extended to life imprisonment. In addition, the use of prohibited weapons or ammunition that results in the death of any person will attract death or life imprisonment, unlike current death.

It is proposed that the minimum punishment for the manufacture and sale of prohibited weapons and ammunition, as well as the illicit traffic in firearms, increase to 10 years from 7 years, while the life sentence will be the maximum penalty. The conversion of an imitation arm into a firearm without a license will be prohibited if the amendments are made.

The amended Section 8, which prohibits a person from falsifying or removing marks on a firearm. The Law also provides for the systematic tracking or tracking of firearms and ammunition from the manufacturer to the buyer.