Quite a while ago I came across Abhijeet Singh’s webpage discussing the history of Indian gun laws since when India was a British colony. I meant to blog it but forgot about it until I was reminded of it by the recent Mumbai attacks.
This changed towards the mid to late 1980s, when the Government, citing domestic insurgency as the reason, put a complete stop to all small arms imports. The fact that there is no documented evidence of any terrorists ever having used licensed weapons to commit an act of terror on Indian soil seems to be of no consequence to our Government.
The prices of (legal & licensed) imported weapons have been on an upward spiral ever since – beating the share market and gold in terms of pure return on investment. Even the shoddy domestically produced guns suddenly seem to have found a market. Also since the Government now had a near monopoly on (even half-way decent) arms & ammunition for the civilian market, they started turning the screws by pricing their crude public sector products (ammunition, rifles, shotguns & small quantities of handguns) at ridiculously high rates – products that frankly, given a choice no one would ever purchase.
“Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.” — Mahatma Gandhi (An Autobiography OR The story of my experiments with truth, by M.K. Gandhi, p.238)
From a historical point of view I find gun laws around the world fascinating. Whenever I get the chance I tend to ask foreigners about their gun laws. I get a lot of emails from overseas readers so I get plenty of opportunities.
More at Gun Ownership in India.