FOLLOWING SEVERAL extensions, as many as 1,202 arms licences have been uploaded in the online database of the Panchkula police, as per the directions of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The Panchkula police had urged residents of the district to report to the arms licences branch of the Panchkula police, and get unique identification number (UIN), which will enable the police to prepare an online database of all the arms licence holders in the city.
However, with not many people coming forward, the police were forced to extend deadlines several times. At present, the last date for online registration is September 30.
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According to the police, the majority of the arms holders in the district are those from the field of defence, largely consisting of Army personnel posted in Chandimandir Military Station. This is followed by residents in upper hilly areas, including Kalka, Pinjore and Morni hills, where the residents keep weapons as part of a local tradition, to stay safe in case of an animal attack.
“The number of people having arms licences is comparatively low in Panchkula, as compared to Mohali and Chandigarh. Here, it is largely kept for safety purpose by people facing some threat,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Anil Dhawan.
While residents of hilly areas prefer .12 bore shotguns and double barrel rifles, others favour .32 bore pistol or revolver.
Police officials say that proper training is essential for anyone securing an arms licence.
“Training is important, as the licence holder must know how to handle the firearm or weapon he/she is using. It is a pre-requisite before granting an arms licence to prevent any damage. The threat perception cited by the applicant is also adequately checked and verified by the local police. The arms licence holder should be aware of how to store and maintain the weapon,” said Dhawan, adding that the number of accidental firing cases had been low in Panchkula, and no such case was registered in the recent past.