The Arms Act, 1959
14. Refusal of licences –
(1) Notwithstanding anything in section 13, licensing authority shall refuse to grant –
(a) a licence under section 3, section 4, or section 5 where such licence is required in respect of any prohibited arms or prohibited ammunition:
(b) A licence in any other case under Chapter II,-
(i) where such licence is required by a person whom then licensing authority has reason to believe-
(1) to be prohibited by this Act or by any other law for the time being in force from acquiring, having in his possession or carrying any arms or ammunition, or
(2) to be of unsound mind, or
(3) to be for any reason unfit for a licence under this Act, or
(ii) where the licensing authority deems it necessary for the sec
urity of the public peace or for public safety to refuse to grant such licence
(2) The licensing authority shall not refuse to grant any licence to any person merely on the ground that such person does not own or possess sufficient property.
(3) Where the licensing authority refuses to grant a licence to any person it shall record in writing the reasons for such refusal and furnish to that person on demand a brief statement of the same unless in any case the licensing authority is of the opinion that it will not be in the public interest to furnish such statement.
(i) The Law mandates a refusal to grant licence even if the applicant has duly followed the procedure, where the licensing authority has reason (s) to believe that he is, for any reason, unfit for the licence under the Act. Unfit is used in the context of hardened criminals or those involved in horrendous crimes [Kapildeo Singh v. Distt. Magistrate, Almora & Ors, AIR1987 Pat. 122(125)]
(ii) Under this provision, ‘public peace’ and ‘public safety’ do not imply a stray or an ordinary disturbance of law & order. The licence can be cancelled, suspended or refused on its renewal on the grounds of disturbance or breach of law & order of such a ‘magnitude’ which cannot be ignored as just a stray or an ordinary one. It also depends on the apprehended or actual repercussions [Ganesh Chandra Bhatt v. Distt. Magistrate, Almora & Ors. AIR 1993 All.291].
(iii) As regards the Arms Act, 1959, organic interpretation of its provisions facilitates proper consideration of the right to self defence, present social conditions & correct interpretation of the Constitution so as not to render the statutes/ provisions unconstitutional. In this context, the licence for non-prohibited arm shall be ordinarily allowed with an exception in case of hardened criminals or those involved in horrendous crimes, while the licence for prohibited arms shall not be ordinarily allowed [Ganesh Chandra Bhatt v. Distt. Magistrate, Almora & Ors., 1993 All 291]. (iv) Merely on the ground (s) of implication in petty crime (s) or on the basis of a false F.I.R., the arms licence shall/ cannot be cancelled’/ suspended, for it may be a senile ploy’ to deprive the licence holder of his licensed weapon and disarm him so as to endanger his life. Hence, in such examination of all relevant facts in an essential pre-requisite before cancellation/ suspension of any licence [Ganesh Chandra Bhatt v. Distt. Magistrate, Almora & Ors. AIR 1993 All.291].