The U.S. recently witnessed two episodes of mass shootings in a span of 11 days that killed more than 30 people including elementary school children.
What is the issue?
- In 2020, U.S. had witnessed 24,576 homicides, of which approximately 79%, or 19,384 incidents, involved the use of a firearm.
- The Second Amendment of the U.S. constitution, which states that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed”, is often attributed as the root cause of all firearm-related violence.
- The U.S. Supreme Court previously held that the amendment protects the right to “keep and bear arms” for self-defence.
What about India?
- Gun licence applicants in India must be at least 21 years and not convicted of any offence involving violence, of ‘unsound mind’ or a threat to public safety and peace.
- Upon receiving an application, the licensing authority (i.e., the Union Home Ministry), asks the officer in-charge of the nearest police station to submit a report about the applicant after thorough vetting.
- The Arms Act amended in 2019 reduces the number of firearms that an individual can procure from three to two.