ARMS AND AMMUNITION MANUFACTURING POLICY | Security Risks Asia Humane ClubMade with Humane Club


Published Feb 22, 2018
Updated Mar 25, 2020

 The Arms Act, 1959 came into force on 01.10.1962. Arms Rules  1962 also came into force with effect from 01.10.1962. Prior to the  enactment of the Arms Act/Rules, it came to the notice of the Government  of India that small arms and ammunition were being manufactured by  private parties in some places. Pending a final decision, instructions were  issued by the then Ministry of States on 25.03.1952 conveying no  objection to the continuance of manufacturing of arms and ammunition by  private parties who were duly licenced and were already doing this work  subject to the following conditions :-

(a) Revolvers, pistols and rifled weapons or any ammunition to be used  in such weapons are not manufactured;

(b) The strictest security precautions are observed so as to prevent any  diversion of the products of such factories to unauthorized hands;  and

(c) Details of licences already issued by the State Governments for  manufacture of arms and ammunition are furnished to MHA.

 2. Pursuant to the Industrial Policy Resolution of 30.04.1956, the  Government of India vide instructions issued on 08.03.1957, decided that  there was no objection to the continuance of manufacturing of arms and  ammunition by the existing units in the private sector who are already  licensed for such manufacture subject to the following conditions:-

(i) Revolvers, pistols and rifled weapons and any ammunition  used in such weapons are not manufactured;

(ii) The strictest security precautions are observed so as to  prevent any diversion of the products of such factories to  unauthorized hands;

(iii) The operations of such units should be strictly restricted to  the items already manufactured by them;

(iv) No expansion of the activities through widening the range of  the products and/or increasing the capacity of the items  already produced be allowed without prior sanction of  Government of India;

(v) The weapons manufactured should be proof tested  according to the regulations prescribed; and

(vi) No fresh licences for manufacture of arms and ammunition  are to be granted.

 3. As per the Notification issued on 13.7.1962 manufacture of air  guns/air rifles and air pistols which satisfy the test, namely, that the  projectiles discharged from such weapons do not perforate a target of 12  inches square formed by deal wood board of even grains free from knots  planed on both sides and of thickness of ½ inch and one inch for air pistols  and air guns/rifles, respectively, are exempt from the purview of Arms Act,  subject to the conditions laid down in the said Notification.

4. Pursuant to requests from existing licensed manufacturers to permit  enhancement of gun manufacturing quota, either on the ground of  economic viability, production capacity, quality of guns produced or their  original licensed quota was at some point of time reduced or re-fixed at a  lower level, a comprehensive review was done. The requirement of  maintenance of law and order, internal security, the existing capacity of the  private manufacturers, the production capacity of the ordnance factories to  manufacture arms for civil use and the availability of firearms through  imports were taken into account. The Government of India decided in  public interest that, as a matter of policy, no request for enhancement or  restoration or re-fixation or revision of manufacturing quota for  manufacturing of arms will be considered by the Government of India on  any ground whatsoever. Accordingly, instructions were issued on  11.12.1985.

5. Pursuant to the receipt of a number of applications from existing  arms and ammunition manufacturers for fresh manufacturing licences,  diversification of product range, enhancement of manufacturing quota and  restoration of certain items which were deleted earlier from the licences,  the Government of India reviewed the manufacturing policy and took the  following decisions on 01.10.1991 which were subsequently withdrawn on  5/10/95:-

(i) Henceforth, Muzzle Loading (ML) guns manufacturers may  be allowed to manufacture Breach Loading (BL) guns within  the existing licenced capacity as per the recommendations of  the State Government. 

(ii) The existing blank fire cartridges manufacturers may be  allowed to manufacture live cartridges upto 20% of their  existing quota within the overall limit.

(iii) 20% increase over the existing quota in the matter of  manufacture of arms and ammunition of the permissible type  may be allowed subject to the recommendations of the State  Government.

6. At present, there are 95 firms licensed by the Ministry of Home  Affairs, Government of India for the manufacture of guns (single  barrel/double barrel) and 25 firms manufacturing cartridges (either blank  cartridges or live cartridges or both) upto the quota permitted in their  licences. Although the quota of some firms was enhanced in the past as a  result of Court judgements or otherwise, the instructions issued on  11/12/85 were reiterated on 16.4.1998, not to allow enhancement of quota  on any ground whatsoever, continue to be in force at present.

7. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) obtained  a decision from the Cabinet during 2001 – 2002 to allow manufacture of arms and ammunition in the private sector with nil or upto 26% FDI,  and issued Industrial licences to three firms. Some requests have also  been received to allow manufacture of sports weapons.

8. The current security scenario and law and order situation in the  country, especially in J&K, North–Eastern States and left extremists  dominated areas, require the Government to ensure total non-proliferation of  arms and ammunition. However, considering the requirements for advanced  weapons by the defence sector, Central Para-Military Forces, technological  up-gradations of the arms and ammunition industry, it has been decided  that:-

a) Manufacture of arms in the private sector may be allowed on  limited basis subject to Industrial license to be issued by  DIPP.

b) Applications from units in the large scale sector which are  capable of producing advanced weapons and investing more  than Rs. 50 crore may, with or without FDI upto 26% be  considered by DIPP, as the item, ‘arms and ammunition’ is  under compulsory licensing. In no case will any fresh licence  be issued to any cottage or small scale sector units.

c) Arms and ammunition may be primarily supplied to Central  Para Military Forces, Defence and State Governments on  tendering basis or exported. Automatic and semi-automatic  weapons and all other prohibited Bore weapons will not be  allowed to be sold in local market through arms dealers and  the same will necessarily have to be supplied to Defence,  Central Para Military forces and State Governments on  tendering basis or exported.

d) Sports weapons and NPB weapons may be supplied to  registered arms dealers for sale to licence holders only.

e) No enhancement in manufacturing quota of existing firms  may be allowed.

f) Applications for manufacture of arms and ammunition may be  considered by DIPP as per procedure in consultation with  MHA. Applications for manufacture of sports weapons may  be considered in consultation with Ministry of Youth Affairs  and Sports, who may like to consult Sports Authority of India,  National Rifle Association of India etc., as deemed fit.

g) DIPP may impose such other conditions as may be deemed  fit by them.

h) In cases in which Industrial licences have already been  issued by DIPP without concurrence of MHA, MHA may  agree to renewal of the industrial licences by DIPP subject to  strict conditions that will be imposed at the time of renewal to  enable the three firms to take effective steps in accordance  with the new policy.

i) The Arms Rules, 1962 empowers every Magistrate and police  officer not below the rank of an Inspector to enter and inspect  the premises of an arms and ammunition manufacturer to  examine the stock and accounts of receipt and disposal of  arms and ammunitions. It is proposed to prescribe annual  inspection by the DM concerned of all the manufacturing units  falling in his jurisdiction and to send a report to Secretary (Home) of the State Government concerned under intimation  to MHA.