Last night, I blogged Mexico’s strict gun laws, and their potential link to the violence south of the border. This morning, a reality check on firearms regs in India. “According to the statistics available with [Bangalore] city police, there are 15,908 licensed guns in the city,” dnaindia.com reports. “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.” And the number is . . . falling.
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.
Bangalore is home to some six million people. Here are some of the particulars on how particular the government is when it comes to privately-held guns . . .
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.
And if they are, they don’t? I kid. And blame the British for this elitist view of firearms-based self-defense and love of restrictive bureaucracy. Economic protectionism? Yeah, that too.
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.
Click here for the full run-down on India’s gun laws. You’ll find the usual specific reasons why the state may deny a firearms license (criminal record, mental illness). And then there’s this:
Where the licensing authority deems it necessary for the security of the public peace or for public safety to refuse to grant such license.
Can they be any more vague? No. And they can also so deem at any time and suspend the license. For example, when the government suspects the gun or guns may be used.
Where any person having in his possession any arms or ammunition whether covered by a license or not, in such manner or under such circumstances as to afford just grounds of suspicion that the same are or is being carried by him with intent to use them, or that the same may be used, for any public servant or any person employed or working upon a railway, aircraft, vessel, vehicle or any other means of conveyance, may arrest him without warrant and seize him without warrant and seize form him such arms or ammunition.
And if you’re found with an illegal weapon or, God forbid, bullets?
Whoever acquires, has in his possession or caries any prohibited arms or prohibited ammunition shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years but which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.
What if someone stashes a gun in your house or car without your knowledge? Prove it!
Where any arms or ammunition in respect of which any offence under this Act has been or is being committed are is found in any premises, vehicle or other place in the joint occupation or under the joint control of several persons, each of such persons in respect of whom there is reason to believe that he was aware of the existence of the arms and ammunitions in the premises, vehicle or other place shall, unless the contrary is proved, be liable for that offence in the same manner as if it has been or is being committed by him alone.
Did I mention that India is the murder capital of the world?
A survey by the National Crime Records Bureau for the year 2006 has said that India witnessed 32,719 murders — roughly three people killed every hour — placing it in the top of the list of countries with the highest number of murders.
Meanwhile, note: India is the world’s fastest growing democracy. I hate to say it (somewhat), but American gunmakers interested in getting in on the ground floor of a HUGE untapped market should see these restrictions as a suppressed market, and look a little closer at what could be done to help Indians exercise their right to self-defense.
Gun control advocates should be properly aghast at that idea—and wish the Second Amendment was never written.