Firearms For Self Defense: How To Get A Gun License In Kerala | Kerala news
Thiruvananthapuram: A police investigation into the use of unlicensed firearms by security guards in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram has spread to Kashmir and the incident has sparked shock waves across Kerala.
The police have recorded arrests of several people in both cities. The firearms were used by security guards who escorted bank officials to refill ATMs in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.
The incident opened our eyes and raised some questions. How easy it is to get a gun in Kerala is one of them.
Who is all entitled to a weapon?
Kerala has separate rules that allow government security agencies and individuals to keep firearms. Private individuals are prohibited from using advanced firearms that have been issued to security guards. Private individuals are generally allowed to store firearms for self-defense and must apply for a firearms license at the collection point in their area of residence.
Upon receipt of the request, the relevant collector will seek reports from the District Police Commissioner, the Department of Finance Officer (RDO), and the Departmental Forest Officer. If the report submitted after an appropriate examination is satisfactory, the applicant is initially granted permission for one year, which can later be extended to five years.
However, the license holder should hand over his firearm to the authorities in legal and regulatory situations, during elections and at the direction of the government.
Are former soldiers allowed to have weapons?
Citizens, including former soldiers, should submit their applications to the relevant district collector’s office. Former soldiers usually look for a gun license to work in private security services, as license holders have priority when looking for a job. The agencies do not issue licenses directly.
Usually banks have their armed security guards. Most financial institution security teams are led by former senior military or police officers. The application for a gun license is made under the name of the branch manager of the bank. However, banks rely on private security services to keep the officials charged with refilling ATMs safe.
Can all weapons be used?
The annual license fee is Rs500. Private institutions and individuals may only possess permitted weapons, such as revolvers, pistols, double-barreled rifles, etc. The information on weapons and ammunition, ie model of the weapon, caliber, serial number of the weapon, etc. submitted to the authorities. Only 200 cartridges are provided per year. After the license expires, the weapon must be returned to the authorities until it is renewed.
Gun licenses are issued to people who are in mortal danger after a thorough examination. Plantation owners are also granted licenses, but shooting wild animals puts them in the dock. The district collector is the authority granting the license. For the renewal of the license, however, the report of the district police chief is sufficient.
Mental health matters
Anyone applying for a firearms license for the first time must submit a medical certificate confirming their mental aptitude with their application. A police report on whether the applicant knows how to use a firearm is also required. In addition, the authorities should be satisfied that the applicant has the ability to store the firearm safely. The license holder is responsible for the safe storage of the weapon.
The weapon should only be used for self-defense. Pointing a firearm, even if it is an air pistol, in a non-threatening situation is a criminal offense; this is also the case with deaths.
Anyone between the ages of 21 and 75 can apply for a gun license. According to authorities, the number of applicants in Kerala is increasing and more women are now applying for the license.
Does an air rifle need approval?
Weapons fall into different categories such as air weapons, firearms, gas weapons (gas-powered reloading), laser weapons, nuclear weapons (articulated fission weapons), etc. The last two categories mentioned are used by defense forces. Certain air rifles require a license. Revolvers, pistols, and rifles are considered firearms, and private individuals can own them if they have a valid license.
Pistols made abroad cost more than 75,000 rupees, while revolvers cost 86,000 rupees and more. The cost of rifles starts at Rs 1.15 lakh.
State Police personnel primarily use Enfield .303 rifles. Those with guard and security duties and officers with the rank of sub-inspector and higher use pistols and revolvers. Pistols are currently the preferred sidearm.
The armed reserve police use self-loading rifles (SLR) and INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) rifles. Automatic carbine rifles, AK-47s, Trichy assault rifles and rifles from the Ordinance Factory are also used.
The guns issued to law enforcement agencies have a 9mm bore from Glock, Browning, and the Ordinance Factory. The force is currently not procuring any new revolvers.
Police officers are issued based on the assigned service and cannot choose a weapon of their choice. Law enforcement officers are allowed to take the exhibited weapon home with them as they are expected to report for duty at short notice.
Police weapons and ammunition are stored in the armed reserve depot, battalion headquarters and police stations. The police headquarters has its own department to monitor and issue the weapons.