Friday, 28 January 2011


ACT NO. 54 OF 1959
[23rd December, 1959.]
An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to arms and
Short title, extent and commencement.
1. Short  title, extent  and commencement.- (1) This  Act may  be
called the Arms Act, 1959.
(2) It extends to the whole of India.
(3) It  shall come  into force  on such  date 1*  as the  Central
Government may, by notification in the Official Gezette, appoint.
Definition and interpretation.
2. Definition  and interpretation.- (1) In  this Act,  unless the
context otherwise requires,--
(a)  "acquisition",  with  its  grammatical  variations  and
cognate expressions,  includes  hiring, borrowing,  or
accepting as a gift;
(b) "ammunition"  means  ammunition  for  any  firearm,  and
(i) rockets,  bombs,  grenades,  shells  [and
other missiles] 2*
(ii) articles,  designed for  torpedo service
and submarine mining,
(iii) other  articles containing, or designed
or adapted to contain,  explosive, fulminating or
fissionable material  or noxious  liquid,  gas  or
other such thing, whether capable  of  use  with
firearms or not,

1.   1st October,  1962, vide Notification No. G.S.R. 992, dated 13-7-
1962, see Gazette of India, Pt. II, Sec. 3(i), p. 1092.
This Act has been extended to--
Goa, Daman  and Diu  with modifications  by Reg. 12 of 1962, s. 3
and Sch.; and comes into force in Pondicherry vide Reg. 7 of
1963, s.
3 and Sch. I (w.e.f. 1-10-1963);
and brought  into force  in Dadra and Nagar  Haveli by Reg. 6 of
1963, s. 2 and Sch. I (w.e.f. 1-7-1965);
Sikim vide  Notification No.  G.S.R.  461 (E),  dated  21-7-1976
(w.e.f. 1-8-1976).
2.   Subs. by Act 42 of 1988, s. 2, for " and other like missiles"
(w.e.f. 27-5-1988).
(iv) charges for firearms and accessories for
such charges,
(v) fuses and friction tubes,
(vi) parts  of,   and    machinery    for
manufacturing ammunition, and
(vii) such  ingredients of  ammunition as the
Central Government may, by  notification  in  the
Official Gazette, specify in this behalf;
(c) "arms"  means articles  of any  description designed  or
adapted as weapons for offence or defence, and includes
firearms, sharpedged  and  other  deadly  weapons,  and
parts of,  and machinery  for manufacturing,  arms, but
does not  include articles designed solely for domestic
or agricultural uses such  as a  lathi or  an ordinary
walking stick  and  weapons  incapable  of  being  used
otherwise than  as toys or  of being  converted  into
serviceable weapons;
1*[(d) "district  magistrate", in  relation to  any area for
which a Commissioner of  Police  has  been  appointed,
means the  Commissioner of  Police thereof and includes
any such  Deputy  Commissioner  of  Police,  exercising
jurisdiction over  the whole  or any part of such area,
as may  be specified  by the  State Government  in this
behalf in relation to such area or part;]
(e) "firearms"  means arms  of any  description designed  or
adapted to discharge a projectile or projectiles of any
kind by the action  of any explosive or other forms of
energy, and includes--
(i) artillery, hand-grenades, riot-pistols or
weapons of any kind  designed or  adapted for the
discharge of any noxious liquid, gas or other such

(ii)  accessories   for  any such   firearm
designed or adapted to diminish the noise or flash
caused by the firing thereof,
(iii)  parts   of, and    machinery   for
manufacturing, firearms, and
(iv) carriages,  platforms and appliances for
mounting, transporting and serving artillery.
1.   Subs. by Act 55 of 1971, s. 2, for the former cl. (d) (w.e.f. 13-
(f) "licensing  authority" means  an officer  or  authority
empowered to  grant or  renew licences under rules made
under this Act, and includes the Government;
1*[(ff) "magistrate" means an Executive Magistrate under the
Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974);]
(g) "prescribed"  means prescribed  by rules made under this
(h) "prohibited ammunition" means any ammunition containing
or designed  or adapted to contain, any noxious liquid,
gas or  other such  thing, and includes rockets, bombs,
grenades, shells, 2*[missiles]   articles designed for
torpedo service and submarine  mining and  such  other
articles as the Central Government may, by notification
in the  Official  Gazette,  specify  to be  prohibited
(i) "prohibited arms" means--
(i) firearms  so designed or adapted that, if
pressure  is  applied  to  the  trigger,  missiles
continue to be dis-
1.   Ins. by Act 25 of 1983, s. 2 (w.e.f. 22-6-1983).
2.   Ins. by Act 42 of 1988, s. 2 (w.e.f. 27-5-1988).
charged until pressure is removed from the trigger
or the  magazine containing the missiles is empty,
(ii) weapons  of any  description designed or
adapted for  the discharge of any noxious liquid,
gas or other such thing,
and includes  artillery, anti-aircraft and anti-tank firearms and such
other arms  as the  Central Government may, by  notification  in  the
Official Gazette, specify to be prohibited arms;

(j) "public  servant" has  the same meaning as in section 21
of the Indian Penal Code; (45 of 1860.)
(k) "transfer",  with its grammatical variations and cognate
expressions, includes  letting on hire, lending, giving
and parting with possession.
(2) For  the purposes  of this Act, the length of the barrel of a
firearm shall  be measured  from the  muzzle to the point at which the
charge is exploded on firing.
(3) Any reference in this Act to any law which is not in force in
any area  shall, in relation to that area, be construed as a reference
to the corresponding law, if any, in force in that area.
(4) Any  reference in this Act to any officer or authority shall,
in relation to any area in which there is no officer or authority with
the same  designation, be  construed as a reference to such officer or
authority  as may  be   specified  by   the  Central Government  by
notification in the Official Gazette.