Jammu and Kashmir, which ranks 18th in terms of population, recorded the highest gun licences per lakh population followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Punjab.
While UP with a population of 19.98 crore had over 12.88 lakh gun licences, making it 644 licences per lakh population, J&K had the second-highest number of licensed weapons where 4.85 lakh licences were issued and the licences per lakh population was 3,859.
In India, a district magistrate can grant an arms license, which is valid across the country, to union ministers or MPs, security forces, officials of the All India Services, Officers in the government or PSUs and for sports.
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In other cases, the power to grant all India validity is with the state government, which can decide applications forwarded by the concerned district magistrate, according to an official.
It is worth mentioning that investigations are still going on in alleged fake arms licences issued in J&K to people posing as security personnel. In these investigations by the CBI, 50 persons had been arrested by September this year, including a brother of an IAS officer.
Following the probe, state government had also asked district administrations not to issue fresh licences.
The security agencies are worried in Jammu and Kashmir for allegedly issuance of “fake” gun licences.
The security agencies in Jammu and Kashmir have shown deep concern over issuance of gun licences randomly without making “proper verifications” despite one person is being booked under the Arms Act in Jammu and Kashmir after every 48-hours.
As per the official data, 1826 cases have been registered since 2008 to March 2016 under the Arms Act in JK. The data reveals that 352 cases were registered in 2008 under the Arms Act in J&K whose number reduced to 289 and 225 in 2009 and 2010 respectively. There was slight increase in registration of cases in 2011 when 231 people were booked under this Act.
The Arms Act 1959 is an Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to arms and ammunition in order to curb illegal weapons and violence stemming from them.