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Is any weapon of an obsolete pattern legal without license?

The legal aspects of owning, shooting, importing arms/ ammo and other related legal aspects as well as any other legal queries. Please note: This INCLUDES all arms licensing issues/ queries!
goodboy_mentor
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Is any weapon of an obsolete pattern legal without license?

Postby goodboy_mentor » Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:04 am

Following is what Section 45(c) of Arms Act 1959 says:
45. Act not to apply in certain cases.
Nothing in this Act shall apply to---
c) any weapon of an obsolete pattern or of antiquarian value or in disrepair which is not capable of being used as a Firearm either or without repair;
As per my understanding the Arms Act 1959 does not apply, if the weapon falls in any one or more of the following three categories:

1) any weapon of an obsolete pattern

or

2) of antiquarian value

or

3) in disrepair which is not capable of being used as a Firearm either or without repair;

If my above understanding is correct then one may manufacture, sell, buy or possess matchlocks, flintlocks or similar firearms of "obsolete pattern" without any license under the Arms Act 1959. Probably cap and ball black powder revolver would also fall in the category of "any weapon of an obsolete pattern".

Rule (9)(6) of Explosives Rules 2008 says:
Rule 9. No licence needed in certain cases.— Notwithstanding anything contained in rule 7, no licence shall be necessary for the following cases, namely :—
(6) possession by any person for his own private use and not for sale of gunpowder not exceeding five kilograms and fifty metres of safety fuse in any State other than Bihar, Kerala, Tamilnadu and West Bengal and of small arm nitro-compound not exceeding five kilograms except in the State of Kerala;
So one may legally possess without license under the Explosives Rules 2008, gunpowder and small arm nitro-compound each not exceeding five kilograms.

Going by the Section 45(c) of Arms Act 1959 and Rule (9)(6) of Explosives Rules 2008, one can legally possess without license, weapon/s of obsolete pattern alongwith gunpowder and small arm nitro-compound each not exceeding five kilograms for target practice, shooting sports as well as self defence. What do you say?


All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth. - Friedrich Nietzsche

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Safarigent
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Re: Is any weapon of an obsolete pattern legal without licen

Postby Safarigent » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:10 pm

has this rule been used by people to acquire and keep such weapons?


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goodboy_mentor
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Re: Is any weapon of an obsolete pattern legal without licen

Postby goodboy_mentor » Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:39 pm

I think ignorance and lack of information among people is the problem. I do not think many people are aware of Section 45(c) of Arms Act 1959 and Rule (9)(6) of Explosives Rules 2008. Other reason could be that the average policeman is also as ignorant about this. Probably to avoid harrasment or demand of bribes by police, people seem to even avoid possessing any weapon of an "obsolete pattern". But this can be easily taken care of. Also even if we assume that police will start prosecution under Section 3 of Arms Act 1959 without applying its mind, it would still need permission from the district magistrate. As per Section 39 of Arms Act 1959, no prosecution can be instituted against any person in respect of any offence under section 3 without the previous sanction of the district magistrate.

For deciding if a weapon is of an antiquarian value, The Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972(available at http://asi.nic.in/pdf_data/8.pdf) defines what is an anquity. Any weapon that is not less than one hundred years is an anquity and thus not require license, since it is not covered under Arms Act 1959 due to Section 45(c). But it needs to be seen what kind of weapon, legally means a weapon of an "obsolete pattern". Is a "pattern of weapon" not in use for hundered years or more, a weapon of "obsolete pattern"? Is there any legal document, notification, High Court or Supreme Court judgement clarifying about any weapon of an "obsolete pattern"?


All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth. - Friedrich Nietzsche

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mundaire
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Re: Is any weapon of an obsolete pattern legal without licen

Postby mundaire » Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:42 pm

Good find GBM :) However, the Explosives Act provision is meaningless as no manufacturer is currently offering smokeless powder or primers for sale to civilians... black powder may be had, but it has limited use for any potential handloader.

Unless I am mistaken, the process of have a firearm declared as obsolete is a painful & lengthy one. In the course of a conversation I had (in this regard) with a friend who is also an arms dealer, he'd mentioned that it can take more than an year to have the cops issue the relevant certificate... this was an year or so back. I doubt things have improved since. :P

Of course, there is another hurdle as well, one to do with plain and simple business sense - most of these firearms command a much higher value overseas than they do in India. Largely because of the 3 gun limit, which dashes any possible aspirations a potential collector could be nursing (in India). In most countries there is no such limit and it is not unusual for ordinary gun owners to own more than 20 firearms, collectors literally possess hundreds!

While the import of firearms is banned (for all practical purposes), their export is not! So long as a firearm is not of a "current & popular bore" and is not an antique it may be exported. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is the certifying authority for objects as not falling within the classification of antiques. In the 1970's and 1980's container loads of firearms were exported from India using this provision - almost all went for a fraction of their market value. The loss of heritage due to this cannot even be begun to be calculated.

Why would any sensible dealer go through the pain of having a firearm certified as an obsolete one when he could have it certified and not being an antique with much less trouble and export it for a much higher price? He is after all in the business to make money and not to protect our collective firearm heritage.

Cheers!
Abhijeet

P.S. On a slightly different but related note, I hear that the Govt. of India plans to destroy all obsolete service firearms. Due to their own stupid PB/ NPB restrictions these cannot be sold to civilians and I hear they have made commitments at the UN that no service firearms will be sold to civilians/ exported, so now they must be destroyed! Besides the usual suspects (SMLE's of various makes/ marks, .455 Webleys, etc.), these include some nice collectible pieces like Fosbury revolvers, SMLE sniper rifles, SMLE jungle carbines, as well as a motley of other firearms which were "absorbed" along with the various princely state forces when they became a part of the Union of India.


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vivekpeter
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Re: Is any weapon of an obsolete pattern legal without licen

Postby vivekpeter » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:06 pm

Safarigent wrote:has this rule been used by people to acquire and keep such weapons?


Yes.. I have heard of a person, a lawyer in Madras, who owns many such weapons. I dont remember his name, but I can post it next time.


Gun control??!!

goodboy_mentor
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Re: Is any weapon of an obsolete pattern legal without licen

Postby goodboy_mentor » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:54 am

However, the Explosives Act provision is meaningless as no manufacturer is currently offering smokeless powder or primers for sale to civilians
Probably arms dealers are not interested in selling small arms nitro compound, as they think they are making more money selling cartridges. Any rifle club, association or a shop can obtain licence from District Magistrate on Form LE-5(under article 5(a) of Part 1 of Schedule IV of the Explosives Rules, 2008) to possess and sell from a shop, at any one time, not exceeding 25 kilogrammes of small arms nitro compound. Reloaders and owners of weapons of obsolete pattern can buy from this shop.
Unless I am mistaken, the process of have a firearm declared as obsolete is a painful & lengthy one. In the course of a conversation I had (in this regard) with a friend who is also an arms dealer, he'd mentioned that it can take more than an year to have the cops issue the relevant certificate... this was an year or so back.
Arms Act 1959 is already declaring "any weapon of an obsolete pattern" is not covered by Arms Act 1959. So I do not think there is further need to get any declaration. Does there exist an official/legal document to clarify what is "obsolete pattern" so that one can get it manufactured accordingly? Arms dealers probably will not be interested in people going for "any weapon of an obsolete pattern" due to their short sightedness.
Of course, there is another hurdle as well, one to do with plain and simple business sense - most of these firearms command a much higher value overseas than they do in India.
What you are saying seems to affect antique weapons. But it does not appear that it would effect weapons of an obsolete pattern. Weapons of an obsolete pattern do not have to be antiques. They can be even brand new. When people know that they can posses, brand new custom made weapons of an obsolete pattern without the nuisance of Arms Act 1959, there are going to be enough customers willing to pay the market price.
I hear that the Govt. of India plans to destroy all obsolete service firearms. Due to their own stupid PB/ NPB restrictions these cannot be sold to civilians
By the virtue of Section 45(c) of Arms Act 1959, regardless of PB/ NPB or anything else, any weapons that are hundred years or more old are not covered by Arms Act 1959, they can be kept in museums as per Antiquities and Art Treasures Act 1972 or if museums don't have space or money, they can be sold to the public. Where is the legal hurdle to the Government? Those who originally drafted Arms Act 1959 were much more reasonable and honest to the Constitution, than this government. At least they recognized that arms are our Freedom under Article 19 and Liberty under Article 21 and wrote Section 45(c) to respect this fact. PB bore is baseless, unreasonable and unconstitutional restriction, based on the premise that government cannot trust its own soldiers. It can be easily well challenged on various grounds including the doctrine of strict scrutiny in courts.
I hear they have made commitments at the UN that no service firearms will be sold to civilians/ exported, so now they must be destroyed!
Probably this is something like a big scam. Who is the UN to interfere in the internal matters of the country? Who empowered the government to make unconstitutional commitments with UN? Government may not export them, but where is the problem to sell them to citizens following the due process of law? Arms are fundamental right and government arms are public property. Public property can be sold to public by following the due process of law. Where is the problem?


All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth. - Friedrich Nietzsche

spin_drift
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Re: Is any weapon of an obsolete pattern legal without licen

Postby spin_drift » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:57 pm

goodboy_mentor wrote:Following is what Section 45(c) of Arms Act 1959 says:
45. Act not to apply in certain cases.
Nothing in this Act shall apply to---
c) any weapon of an obsolete pattern or of antiquarian value or in disrepair which is not capable of being used as a Firearm either or without repair;
As per my understanding the Arms Act 1959 does not apply, if the weapon falls in any one or more of the following three categories:

1) any weapon of an obsolete pattern



Well, as far as i know most weapons (firearms) sold in India are of an obsolete pattern....


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Re: Is any weapon of an obsolete pattern legal without licen

Postby ssmickey.32 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:26 am

goodboy_mentor wrote:Following is what Section 45(c) of Arms Act 1959 says:
45. Act not to apply in certain cases.
Nothing in this Act shall apply to---
c) any weapon of an obsolete pattern or of antiquarian value or in disrepair which is not capable of being used as a Firearm either or without repair;
As per my understanding the Arms Act 1959 does not apply, if the weapon falls in any one or more of the following three categories:

1) any weapon of an obsolete pattern

or

2) of antiquarian value

or

3) in disrepair which is not capable of being used as a Firearm either or without repair;

If my above understanding is correct then one may manufacture, sell, buy or possess matchlocks, flintlocks or similar firearms of "obsolete pattern" without any license under the Arms Act 1959. Probably cap and ball black powder revolver would also fall in the category of "any weapon of an obsolete pattern".

..

Going by the Section 45(c) of Arms Act 1959 and Rule (9)(6) of Explosives Rules 2008, one can legally possess without license, weapon/s of obsolete pattern alongwith gunpowder and small arm nitro-compound each not exceeding five kilograms for target practice, shooting sports as well as self defence. What do you say?


Well, i am not into Law however i would interpret
c) any weapon of an obsolete pattern or of antiquarian value or in disrepair which is not capable of being used as a Firearm either or without repair;


as follows:

The Arms Act 1959 does not apply, if the weapon falls in any one [it does'nt say 'or + and']of the following three categories:

1) any weapon of an obsolete pattern which is not capable of being used as a Firearm either or without repair;


or

2) of antiquarian value which is not capable of being used as a Firearm either or without repair;


or

3) in disrepair which is not capable of being used as a Firearm either or without repair;

I think, it makes complete sense if the law is interpret in the above manner.

I may be having an antique weapon 100+ years old in perfect/shootable condition that can be declared as antique under The Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972 as stated in discussion above by Goodboy_Mentor though it will definitly require licence and should be covered under The Arms Act 1959.

However, If the same antique weapon is not capable of being used as a firearm either or without repair - it is outside the purview of The Indian Arms Act 1959.

The same interpretation holds sense with Obsolete Weapon (1) and Weapon in dispair (3).

What do you say?


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goodboy_mentor
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Re: Is any weapon of an obsolete pattern legal without licen

Postby goodboy_mentor » Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:02 pm

Law is nothing but strong logic and reasoning put in a codified form. As per your interpretation, the Arms Act 1959 is not concerned whether any weapon is obsolete or antique but is only concerned if it "is not capable of being used as a Firearm either or without repair". Then it would mean that the Parliament did not apply its mind while enacting the law, the points number one and two are needless and superfluous. Only point number three would have sufficed to give the required meaning.

Moreover "or" is used to join separate conditions. If any one of the conditions is fulfilled, it serves the purpose. If multiple conditions have to be fulfilled then "and" is used. If we read Section 45(c) again keeping this fact in mind, the meaning becomes very clear.

Whenever a law is passed, care is taken so that it is not against the Constitution and passes the test of reasoning. The Section 45(c) of Arms Act 1959, Rule 2(24), Rules 9(4)(5)(6), Rule 57 of Explosives Rules 2008 are not a result of some mistake or loophole that slipped into the law. They have been purposefully put in, so that these laws do not offend the Constitution and can pass the test of reasoning i.e. doctrine of strict scrutiny. Following is my understanding:

Arms(includes firearms, ammunition and explosives) are Right to Freedom under Article 19 and Right to Life and Liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution. But Parliament is empowered to regulate the fundamental rights with reasonable laws. Arms Act 1959 is not a law about prohibiting the ownership of arms(since arms are fundamental right), but is only to regulate them in a least restrictive manner. In order to ensure that the Constitution is not offended, the laws to regulate the fundamental rights have to be reasonable and least restrictive laws i.e. should pass the test of the doctrine of strict scrutiny. If the legislature is given a free hand to regulate fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution, the very purpose of having them guaranteed in the Constitution may get defeated. To pass the strict scrutiny following three conditions must be fulfilled:

1) State must justify that there is a compelling State interest to enact a law or policy to regulate a fundamental right.

2) The law or policy must be narrowly tailored to achieve that interest.

3) The law or policy must be the least restrictive means for achieving that interest.

For the sake of this discussion, if we assume that there is no Section 45(c) in Arms Act 1959 or the meaning of Section 45(c) is what you are interpreting. Then it would mean that even if a weapon is of obsolete pattern or is of thousands of years old, law is saying that it is still hurting the State interest and needs to be regulated. This would be very unreasonable law and thus would also fail the test of doctrine of strict scrutiny.


All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth. - Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Is any weapon of an obsolete pattern legal without licen

Postby lebel » Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:49 pm

goodboy_mentor wrote:
However, the Explosives Act provision is meaningless as no manufacturer is currently offering smokeless powder or primers for sale to civilians
Probably arms dealers are not interested in selling small arms nitro compound, as they think they are making more money selling cartridges. Any rifle club, association or a shop can obtain licence from District Magistrate on Form LE-5(under article 5(a) of Part 1 of Schedule IV of the Explosives Rules, 2008) to possess and sell from a shop, at any one time, not exceeding 25 kilogrammes of small arms nitro compound. Reloaders and owners of weapons of obsolete pattern can buy from this shop.
Unless I am mistaken, the process of have a firearm declared as obsolete is a painful & lengthy one. In the course of a conversation I had (in this regard) with a friend who is also an arms dealer, he'd mentioned that it can take more than an year to have the cops issue the relevant certificate... this was an year or so back.
Arms Act 1959 is already declaring "any weapon of an obsolete pattern" is not covered by Arms Act 1959. So I do not think there is further need to get any declaration. Does there exist an official/legal document to clarify what is "obsolete pattern" so that one can get it manufactured accordingly? Arms dealers probably will not be interested in people going for "any weapon of an obsolete pattern" due to their short sightedness.
Of course, there is another hurdle as well, one to do with plain and simple business sense - most of these firearms command a much higher value overseas than they do in India.
What you are saying seems to affect antique weapons. But it does not appear that it would effect weapons of an obsolete pattern. Weapons of an obsolete pattern do not have to be antiques. They can be even brand new. When people know that they can posses, brand new custom made weapons of an obsolete pattern without the nuisance of Arms Act 1959, there are going to be enough customers willing to pay the market price.
I hear that the Govt. of India plans to destroy all obsolete service firearms. Due to their own stupid PB/ NPB restrictions these cannot be sold to civilians
By the virtue of Section 45(c) of Arms Act 1959, regardless of PB/ NPB or anything else, any weapons that are hundred years or more old are not covered by Arms Act 1959, they can be kept in museums as per Antiquities and Art Treasures Act 1972 or if museums don't have space or money, they can be sold to the public. Where is the legal hurdle to the Government? Those who originally drafted Arms Act 1959 were much more reasonable and honest to the Constitution, than this government. At least they recognized that arms are our Freedom under Article 19 and Liberty under Article 21 and wrote Section 45(c) to respect this fact. PB bore is baseless, unreasonable and unconstitutional restriction, based on the premise that government cannot trust its own soldiers. It can be easily well challenged on various grounds including the doctrine of strict scrutiny in courts.
I hear they have made commitments at the UN that no service firearms will be sold to civilians/ exported, so now they must be destroyed!
Probably this is something like a big scam. Who is the UN to interfere in the internal matters of the country? Who empowered the government to make unconstitutional commitments with UN? Government may not export them, but where is the problem to sell them to citizens following the due process of law? Arms are fundamental right and government arms are public property. Public property can be sold to public by following the due process of law. Where is the problem?



In Canada and the U.S. a reproduction flint or Match-lock doesn't require a licence. The Americans' go one step further; any muzzle loader including a cap & ball antique or repro needs no licence. When I lived in Canada I owned an antique Smith and Wesson model 1 1/2 in .32 rim fire with no licence. I even purchased a brass extrusion press to make my own rim fire cases, but I'm a little hardcore, and the police didn't care; it was still an antique under the law. My I request of any members who have gone through the process of acquiring and antique PM me with the experiences, thanks.


Julius Caesar banned the carry and concealment of daggers with in the city of Rome. He was STABBED to death on the steps of the very Senate where the law was passed by men brandishing concealed daggers! A false sense of security is a poor way of spending tax-payers money!

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Re: Is any weapon of an obsolete pattern legal without licen

Postby renjith747 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:27 pm

check this link

http://vimalamahmoodfoundation.com/docs ... 01959.docx

ARMS ACT, 1959
54 of 1959
23rd December, 1959
STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REAS0NS "The Indian Arms Act, 1878, was intended to disarm the entire nation. Even after independence, the law declaring "swords, daggers, spears, spear-heads, bow and arrows" as "arms" has been allowed to continue unaltered on the statute book. The rigours of the Arms Act and roles thereunder continue to make it difficult for law abiding citizens to possess firearms for self-defence' whereas terrorists, dacoit-gangs and other anti-social or anti-national elements are using not only civilian weapons but also bombs, hand-grenades, Bren-guns, Sten-guns. .303 bore service rifles and revolvers of military type,for perpecetating terinous crimes against society and the State. The Indian Arms (Amendment) Bill (No 49 of 1953) was introduced by the undersigned in the Lok Sabha on the 27th November,1953 to focus Parliment's (attention on this vital subject. It was discussed in the House on 26th March, 1954 and was Circulated for public opinion. Opinions were received from all the State Governments which contained not only their own views but also those of many-legal luminaries, Bar Associations, Judges, Collectors, Senior Police Officers and local Bodies of their respective Slates. On the basis of those opinions, this Bill has been drafted. The objects of this Bill are :- (a) to exclude knives, spears, bows and arrows and the like from the definition of "arms"; (b) to classify firearms, and other prohibited weapons so as to ensure- (i) that dangerous weapons of military patterns are not available to civilians, particularly the anti-social elements: (ii) that weapons for self-defence are available for all citizens under license unless their antecedents or propensities do not entitle them for (he privilege; and (iii) that lirearms required for training purpose:, and ordinary civilian use are made more easily available on permits: (c) to co-ordinate the rights of the citizen with the necessity of maintaining law and order and avoiding fifthcolumn activities in the country: (d) to recognize the right of the State to requisition the services of every citizen in national emergencies. The licensees and permit holders for firearms, shikaris, target shooters and rifle-men in general (in appropriate age groups) will be of great service to the country :n emergencies, if the Government can properly mobilise and utilise them" -Gaz. of Ind., 20-2-1959, Pt. II-S. 2, Extra p. 107. Act 55 of 1971.- The muzzle-loading gun is mainly used by the farmers generally for protecting their crop from the animals. A licence is required to he obtained even for the muzzleloading gun under the provisions of the existing law and the fanners have to waste a lot of time, energy and money in obtaining the same. It is, therefore, desirable that muzzle loading gun, meant for agricultural use. is exempted from licence so that the farmer may procure it without difficulty for protecting his crops and he may not have to waste his time and money. The amendment seeks to acnieve this objective. -S.O.R. - Gaz. Ind, 23-7-1971, Pt. II, S.2, Ext., p. 478. Act 25 of 1983 - The Arms Act. 1959(54 of 1959) was-enacted about twenty-two years ago.

if any body do have the copy of said above order S.O.R. - Gaz. Ind, 23-7-1971, Pt. II, S.2, Ext., p. 478. Act 25 of 1983 - The Arms Act. 1959(54 of 1959) please share it.

Regards
Renjith



goodboy_mentor
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Re: Is any weapon of an obsolete pattern legal without licen

Postby goodboy_mentor » Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:06 pm

Related matter was discussed here viewtopic.php?f=4&t=18217 Similarly search for "Act 25 of 1983" in latest copy of Arms Act from MHA website, you will get the answer.

"S.O.R. - Gaz. Ind, 23-7-1971, Pt. II, S.2, Ext., p. 478." does not appear to be any order. It looks like it is some proposed amendment that has been published before being presented in parliament. Unless the parliament passed it, the president signed it and the government notified it, in the official gazette, it does not have any force of law.

See Section 45(c) has settled the matter that "any weapon of an obsolete pattern" is not covered by Arms Act. Section 45(c) has also settled the matter that "any weapon of an obsolete pattern" includes "any firearm and its ammunition of an obsolete pattern".

Edit: It is because anything that is not "trade, commerce and intercourse" cannot be licensed. That is why Section 45 exists. For more details one may read the following post viewtopic.php?f=4&t=23346&p=229997#p229997


All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth. - Friedrich Nietzsche


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