Object of the Arms Act

  • One does not have a fundamental right to keep a weapon and its possession nowadays is more for “showing off” as a “status symbol” than for self-defence, the Delhi High Court has said.
  • The observation by Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva came while rejecting a private company official’s plea for an arms licence, a request which was denied to him by the licensing authority of the police as well as Lieutenant-Governor.

The court said,

  • “We do not live in a lawless society where individuals have to acquire or hold arms to protect themselves.”
  • It said that the object of the Arms Act was to ensure that weapons were available to citizens for self-defence, but it “does not mean that every individual should be given a licence” to possess a weapon.
  • The object of the Act is self-defence.
  • The grant of Arms licence is a privilege conferred by the Act. There is no fundamental right of an individual to hold an arm [weapon].
  • The court further said that possession of arms had become a “status symbol” nowadays.
  • “Possession of arms has become a status symbol. Individuals seek to possess arms mostly for the purposes of showing off that they are influential people. Arms are even being used indiscriminately for celebratory firing at marriages, etc.,” .


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