The Arms Rules, 2016 have not brought in any new restrictions on grant of licences to individuals. The provisions for grant of licences as contained in the Arms Act, 1959 are extracted hereunder -
Arms Act, 1959
(3) The licensing authority shall grant –
(a) a licence under Section 3 where the licence is required-
(i) by a citizen of India in respect of a smooth bore gun having a barrel of not less than twenty inches in length to be used for protection or sport or in respect of a muzzle loading gun to be used for bona fide crop protection:
Provided that where having regard to the circumstances of any case, the licensing authority is satisfied that a muzzle loading gun will not be sufficient for crop protection, the licensing authority may grant a licence in respect of any other smooth bore gun as aforesaid for such protection, or
(ii) in respect of a point 22-bore rifle or an air rifle to be used for target practice by a member of a rifle club or rifle association licensed or recognized by the Central Government;
(b) a licence under section 3 in any other case or a licence under section 4, section 5, section 6, section 10 or section 12, if the licensing authority is satisfied that the person by whom any licence is required has a good reason for obtaining the same.
Arms Rules, 2016
The obligations of the licensing authorities for grant of licences for permissible category of arms and ammunition have been brought in rule 20(3) of the Arms Rules, 2016, namely-
(3) For grant of a licence for the permissible arms or ammunition specified in category III in Schedule I, and without prejudice to the provisions contained in clause (a) of sub- section (3) of section 13, the licensing authority, based on the police report and on his own assessment, may consider the applications of -
(a) any person who by the very nature of his business, profession, job or otherwise has genuine requirement to protect his life and/or property; or
(b) any dedicated sports person being active member for the last two years, of a shooting club or a rifle association, licensed under these rules and who wants to pursue sport shooting for target practice in a structured learning process; or
(c) any person in service or having served in the Defence Forces, Central Armed Police Forces or the State Police Force and has genuine requirement to protect his life and/or property.
Perusal of the above provisions amplify that no new restrictions have been introduced for grant of licences to individuals.