Home / Bangladesh / Amendment to arms licence rules on the cards

Amendment to arms licence rules on the cards

42Individuals would be required to pay at least Tk. 5 lakh in income taxes annually and would have to show their income tax certification for the previous three years if they are to be entitled to possess arms licences, according to a new system the government is mulling. The new system is likely to be introduced soon, sources said.
The draft amendment of the arms policy is aimed at putting a full stop to the trend of swift issuance of arms licences by the administrations. It also aims to prevent legal arms from being used illegally in the country, sources in the home ministry said yesterday.
Currently, those who have paid Tk. 3 lakh income tax annually for the three previous years, are entitled to get arms licences.
The sources also said that in the draft amendment of the arms policy, prepared by the home ministry, some other provisions have also been proposed for people to obtain arms licences.
Under the new provisions, instead of individual owners, only organisations, including financial institutions, readymade garments factories and educational institutions, would be allowed to obtain firearms licences.
Additional secretary in the home ministry, Mostafa Kamal Uddin, told The Independent that they have prepared the draft of the arms policy by consulting the authorities concerned, but it is yet to be finalised.
“The divisional commissioners, at a recent meeting, advised us to raise the stipulated ceiling of the income tax annually from Tk. 3 to 5 lakh to discourage random issuances of arms licences,” he said, adding, “We are considering the suggestion.”
A joint secretary of the home ministry said proposals have been made by certain quarters to abolish the special provision to issue arms licences to prevent abuse. “However, it may not be possible to finally implement it, such as for certain persons like the vice chancellors of public universities, and also because of political pressure,” he explained.
Currently, a person who is at least 25 years old, and has paid Tk 3 lakhs annually as income taxes for the previous three years, can apply to the deputy commissioner concerned for getting an arms licence.
Sources also disclosed that the home ministry does not know the total numbers of arms licences issued so far, though the ministry has asked the deputy commissioners to send lists of arms licenses to it. This is to ascertain the number of licences issued by the deputy commissioners’ (DCs’) offices from January 1991 to March 2015. However, most of the DCs are yet to send in the information to the ministry, the sources added.