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THE ARMS ACT, 1959

INTRODUCTION:

The Indian Arms Act was passed in the year 1978 by the Indian Arms Act, which came
into effect during the Raj period when Lord Lytton was the Indian Viceroy. In 1959, the Arms
Act puts a number of restrictions on average Indian citizens, rather than a reverse action and
gun. Additionally, some classes of guns such as automatics have been banned for private
citizens. After the sepoy revolution in 1857 Britishers were frightened towards Indians as they
noticed that Indians with arms can be a great threat to their rule in this country. So, to dismiss
any possibility of another uprising in masses in 1878, Britishers introduced INDIAN ARMS
ACT according to which no Indians were allowed to keep arms with them without any prior
permission & proper licence. This rule was implemented during Viceroy Lord Lytton’s tenure.
It was specifically for Native Indians and Europeans & Anglo - Indians remained exempted
from this. The Arms Act, 1959 was legislated and is an Act of the Parliament of India to
consolidate and amend the law relating to arms and ammunition in order to curb illegal
weapons and violence stemming from them. The Act has undergone many changes since 1959,
the most recent being in 2010 through an amendment for the Arms Act. There was also
controversy around air guns to be included as part of this act which was rejected by the Supreme
Court of India.

EXCEPTIONS PROVISIONS UNDER ARMS ACT, 1959

1. Prosecution cannot be established for any person under Section 3 without the previous
magistrate's previous sanction.1
2. There can be no suit, prosecution or legal proceedings shall be laid on any person for
which he had done in good faith.2
3. If the Central Governor is in the opinion that it is not necessary or inadequate in the
interests of the Government, if he is notified in the Official Gazette and any such
notification referred to in such notification, Exemption of any person or class (as per
information in the notification or description of weapons and ammunition) or excluding
any explanation of weapons or ammunition, or any part of India to withdraw, Or from
the terms of operation or the provisions of this Act.3

1
Section 39 of The Arms Act, 1959
2
Section 40 of The Arms Act, 1959
3
Section 41 of The Arms Act, 1959