22,804 fresh all-India gun licences issued in 2018-20; 17,905 in JK

As many as 22,804 new gun licences with all India permission have been issued by the government since 2018 and an overwhelming majority —  17,905 — have been issued to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

According to the Union Home Ministry data, a total of 94,400 arms licences were renewed with all India permission between January 1, 2018 and September 15, 2020 of which 19,238 were in Uttar Pradesh, followed by Jammu and Kashmir (14,172) and Haryana (12,230).

Of the 22,805 fresh arms licences issued across the country between January 1, 2018 and September 15 this year, 17,905 were issued in Jammu and Kashmir, with Uttar Pradesh a distant second with 952 fresh licences.

While 666 new arms licences were issued in Madhya Pradesh, 623 were granted in Himachal Pradesh and 314 in Punjab.

The maximum of 2,435 licences cancelled nationwide between January 1, 2018 and September 15, 2020, were in Uttar Pradesh (1,911), while all the other states had such cancellations only in double digits, the home ministry data said.

Arms licences are granted, renewed and cancelled under the Arms Act, 1959 and the Arms Rules, 2016. While arms licences with all-India validity for restricted category of arms are issued by the home ministry, those for the permissible category of arms are issued by the state governments or UT administrations.