In the past five years, over 9,300 non-prohibited bore or NPB guns, including revolvers, pistols and rifles, have been sold in Gujarat. More than one-fourth of these weapons were sold in Ahmedabad and Rajkot districts.
Ahmedabad topped the list of districts with a total of 1,340 guns being sold in five years between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2019, states data tabled by the Gujarat government in the state legislature a as written replies to an unstarred question posed by Babubhai Vaja, MLA from Man-grol, during the fifth session that concluded in December 2019.
Rajkot stood close second with 1,161 guns being sold, registering a phenomenal 118 per cent increase in sales during the five-year period. Kutch with 598 guns and Jamnagar with 543 also clocked higher gun sales that was even higher than some of more urban districts like Surat (308 guns sold) and Vadodara (391 guns sold).
Of the 9,387 guns sold in Gujarat during this period, 25 per cent of the sales were clocked during a single year between July 2016 and June 2017. The same year, the revenue earned by the Gujarat government as taxes on the sale of guns increased by 120 per cent compared to the Rs 52,96,618 registered in July 2014 to June 2015. The sales have fallen thereafter with only 1,262 guns being sold in 2018-2019 period.
Mahesh Soni, who is in charge of CM Gun House at Sabarmati RTO in Ahmedabad says that businessmen and lawyers top the list of gun buyers. “The maximum buyers are businessmen, followed by lawyers and the 0.32 revolvers are among the most sold in Ahmedabad,” Soni told The Indian Express.
Of the total guns sold in Guj-arat, 34 per cent are revolvers and 6.5 per cent are pistols. However, 12 bore guns make up to 57 per cent of the sales. “These 12 bore guns are usually sold in rural areas where people seek licenses for crop protection,” Soni added.
The Indian Express had reported last year that of the 1,700-odd arms licenses issued by the Gujarat government in two years till Mary 31, 2019, over 15 per cent of them were given to Ahmedabad district both for self-protection and crop protection. Ahmedabad city had the highest number of licenses issued for self-protection.
Sporting rifles of 0.22, 0.30-06 and 0.314 calibre are usually bought by sportspersons and form only two percent of the total sales during this period. CM Gun House is one of the total 48 dealers selling guns in Gujarat. There are 13 such dealers in Ahmedabad district, while there are four each in Rajkot, Surat and Vadodara. Amreli, Bharuch, Gandhinagar, Palanpur, Jamnagar, Valsad, Bhuj, Mehsana, Dahod, Patan, Godhra, Himmatnagar, Morbi and Ahwa are few of the other places where dealers are present.
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