Any guns that launches projectiles using compressed gas or air rather than producing gases burning a powdered propellant is known as an air gun.
The compressed air or gas is stored in the gun until the time of firing. At the time of firing, the air or gas is released behind the projectile which propels it down the barrel.
New Arms Rules, 2016:
No license was earlier required to own air guns and air rifles. Even toy shops could sell these air weapons. With effect from 15th July,2016 New Arms Rules 2016 were notified by the ministry of Home affairs. Now manufacturing, usage, and selling of air weapons (air rifles and air guns) in India are covered under the Arms Rule 2016, enforced through a gazette notification on July 15. Before the rule got enacted, India lacked any regulatory framework on the production and distribution of air guns. Earlier, even toy shops could sell air weapons.
Two categories of Air weapons:-
New rules say manufacturing and selling air rifles require license under Arms Act. Arms Rule, 2016 classified air weapons into two categories. Air weapons including air rifles and air guns that emit energy less than 20 Joules and has a caliber less than or equal to 0.177 belongs to one category. There is no license requirement for this category. Air rifles of 0.177 caliber is the standard caliber or bore for all national and international competitions which do not require license.
Air weapons including air rifles, air guns that emit energy more than 20 Joules and has a caliber more than 0.177 belongs to another category. Holders of weapons in this category require special licenses for possession and usage.
Why government makes license mandatory for air guns:-
Air gun is one of the most common gun which could earlier be bought even from the toy shops. Prior to 2016 no license was required to manufacture, buy, own, use or possess an air gun of any caliber in India.
However, new Arms Rules 2016 were notified by the ministry of Home affairs, which completely changed the legal position of gun ownership in India.
Under these new Rules Replicas, Blank gun, Paintball markers and pellet guns are treated same as firearms, meaning you require an arms license, failing which the penalties would be same as those for a criminal possession of an illegal firearm. Also, an air gun that looks like a fire arm i.e. Replicas is treated as a firearm and need a license.
Now before pursuing a gun , an individual will think twice because getting a gun license is not that easy. Many steps are needed to be cleared. If one has a criminal background, then it is very much impossible to get a gun license.
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