Arms Act, 1959
5. License for manufacture, sale, etc., of arms and ammunition -
(1) [ Note: Section 5 renumbered as sub-section (1) thereof and in sub-section (1) as so renumbered the proviso omitted by Act 25 of 1983, s. 4 ( w.e.f . 22-6-1983) ] No person shall-
(a) [ [ Note : Subs by Act 42 of 1988, s. 3 ( w.e.f . 27-5-1988 ) ] use, manufacture,] sell, transfer, convert, repair, test or prove, or
(b) expose or offer for sale or transfer or have in his possession for sale, transfer, conversion repair, test or proof, any firearms or any other arms of such class or description as may be prescribed or any ammunition unless he holds in this behalf a license issued in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder .
[ Note: Section 5 renumbered as sub-section (1) thereof and in sub-section (1) as so renumbered the proviso omitted by Act 25 of 1983, s. 4 ( w.e.f . 22-6-1983) ]
(2) [ Note: Subs by Act 25 of 1983, s. 4 (w.e.f . 22-6-1983) ] Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), a person may, without holding a license in this behalf, sell or transfer any arms or ammunition which he lawfully possesses for his own private use to another person who is entitled by virtue of this Act, or any other law for the time being in force to have, or is not prohibited by this Act or such other law from having in his possession such arms or ammunition :
Provided that no firearm or ammunition in respect of which a license is required under section 3 and no arms in respect of which a license is required under section 4 shall be sold or transferred by any person unless -
(a) he has informed in writing the district magistrate having jurisdiction or the officer in charge of the nearest police station of his intention to sell or transfer such firearms, ammunition or other arms and the name and address of the person to whom he intends to sell or transfer such firearms, ammunition or the other arms, and
(b) a period of not less than forty-five days has expired after the giving of such information.]
Article 21 of the Indian Constitution does not cover the right of an individual to acquire and possess fire-arms, though the fundamental right of protection of life and personal liberty comes well within its ambit. On the contrary, unlike in U.S.A. [S.C. of U.S.A. in Presser v. Illinois (1884-85), it is not a matter of right here but rather a privilege, subject to the provisions of this Act. However, due to ever-growing mafia-clout and gangsterism resulting in an open and insane use of deadly weapons, the fundamental right to possess / bear arms provided by the ‘Second Amendment to the American Constitution’ has come under sharp and bitter-criticism. The bite of the mafia has proved to be worse than the ‘bark’ of the law-makers espousing such provisions for dealing with the security and law and order of the State.