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THE ARMS ACT, 1878

1ACT No. XI OF 1878

[15th March, 1878]

An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to Arms, Ammuni­tion and Military Stores.

Preamble. WHEREAS it is expedient to consolidate and amend the law relating to arms, ammunition and military stores; It is hereby enacted as follows:__

 

1For the Statement of Objects and Reasons, see Gazette of India, 1877, Pt. V, p. 650; for discussions in Council, see ibid., 1877, Supplement, pp. 3016 and 3030; ibid., 1878, Supplement, pp. 435 and 453.

The functions of the Central Government under certain provisions of this Act, subject to certain conditions, were entrusted to-

(a) Provincial Governments with their consent, for a period of three years (with effect from the 1st April, 1951), see Gaz. of P., 1951, Pt. I, p. 181; and

(b) The Chief Commissioner of Karachi, for the period 28th April, 1952 to 31st March, 1957, see Gaz. of P., 1954, Pt. I, p.136.

The Act has been applied to___

(i) Balochistan by Regulation III of 1940 with certain restrictions and modifications.

(ii) Phulera in the Excluded Area of Upper Tanawal to the extent the Act is applicable in the N.W.F.P., subject to certain modifications; see N.W.F.P. (Upper Tanawal) (Excluded Area) Laws Regulation, 1950.

(iii) Excluded Area of Upper Tanawal other than Phulera by the N.W.F.P. (Upper Tanawal) (Excluded Area) Laws Regulation, 1950 and declared to be in force in that area with effect from 1st June, 1951; see N.W.F.P. Gazette, Ext., dated 1st June, 1951; and

(iv) The Leased Areas of Balochistan, see the Leased Areas (Laws) Order, 1950, (G.G.O. 3 of 1950); and applied in the Federated Areas of Balochistan ; see Gazette of India, 1937, Pt. I, p. 1499.

It has been extended to the Balochistan States Union by the Balochistan States Union (Federal Laws) (Extension) Order, 1953 (G.G.O. 4 of 1953), as amended.

The Act has been and shall be deemed to has been brought into force in Gwadur with effect from the 8th September, 1958, by the Gwadur (Applica­tion of Central Laws) Ordinance, 1960 (37 of 1960), s. 2.

A license granted under the Explosives Act, 1884 (4 of 1884), for the manufacture, possession, sale, transport or importation of an explosive may be given the effect of a like license granted under the Arms Act, 1878 (11 of 1878), see Act 4 of 1884, s. 15.

As to further law relating to unlawful manufacture and possession of explo­sive substances, see the Explosive Substances Act, 1908 (6 of 1908), ss. 4 (b) and 5.

This Act bas been repealed in its application to the Province of West Pak­istan except certain provisions by West Pakistan Ordinance 20 of 1965, s. 29 (with effect from the 8th June, 1965).

The Act has been amended in the N.W.F.P. by the Indian Arms (N.W.F.P. Amdt.) Act, 1934 (N.W.F.P. 1 of 1934) and Sindh Act 10 of 1953. s.12.


 

I.–PRELIMINARY

1. Short title Local extent. This Act may be called the 1* Arms Act, 1878; and it extends to 2[the whole of Pakistan].

Savings. But nothing herein contained shall apply to-

(a) arms, ammunition or military stores on board any sea­going vessel and forming part of her ordinary arma­ment or equipment, or

(b) the manufacture, conversion, 3[import or export] of arms, ammunition or military stores by order of 4[the 5[Federal Government] or any Provincial Government], or by a public servant or 6[a member of the forces constituted by the Pakistan Territorial Force Act, 1950 (L of 1950)] in the course of his duty as such public servant or 7[member].

2. Commencement.This Act shall come into force on such day 8as the 9[Federal Government] by notification in the 10[official Gazette] appoints.

3. [Repeal of enactments.] Rep. by the Repealing Act, 1938 (I of 1938), s. 2 and Sch.

4. Interpretation-clause. In this Act, unless there be something repugnant in the subject or context,­–

“cannon” includes also all howitzers, mortars, wall-pieces, mitrailleuses and other ordnance and machine-guns, all parts of the same, and all carriages, platforms and appliances for mounting, transporting and serving the same:

11[“appropriate Government” means–

 

1The word “Indian” omitted by A. O., 1949, Sch.

2Subs. by the Central Laws (Statute Reform) Ordinance, 1960 (21 of 1960), s. 3 and 2nd Sch. (with effect from the 14th October, 1955), for  “all the Provinces and the Capital of the Federation” which had been subs. by A. O., 1949, Arts. 3(2) and 4, for  "the whole of British India”.

3Subs. by the Federal Laws (Revision and Declaration) Ordinance, 1981 (27 of 1981), s.3 and IInd Sch., for "sale, import, export, transport, bearing or possession”.

4Subs. by A.O., 1949, Sch., for “any Govt. in British India”, which had been subs. by A. O., 1937, for "the Govt.”.

 5Subs. by F.A.O., 1975, Art. 2 and Table, for “Central Government”.

 6Subs. by the Federal Laws (Revision and Declaration) Act, 1951 (26 of 1951), s. 4 and III Sch., for “a member of either of the forces constituted by the Indian Territorial Force Act, 1920 or the Auxiliary Force Act, 1920”, which had been subs. for  “a Volunteer enrolled under the Indian Volunteers Act, 1869" by the Auxiliary Force Act, 1920 (49 of 1920), s. 35.

7Subs. ibid., for “Volunteer”.

81st October 1878-see. Gazette of India, 1878, Pt., I, p. 389.

 9Subs. by F.A.O., 1975, Art. 2 and Table, for “Central Government” which was subs. by A. O.,1937, for  “G.G. in C”.

 10Subs. by A. O., 1937, for “Gazette of India”.

11Subs. by F.A.O., 1975, Art. 2 and Sch. for the definition. This definition was ins. by A. O., 1964, Art 2 and Sch.


(a)  in relation to military stores; and import, export and inter-provincial trade or transport, the Federal Government ; and ­

(b) in relation to other matters, the Provincial Government:]

“arms” includes fire-arms, bayonets, swords, daggers, spears, spearheads and bows and arrows, also cannon and parts of arms, and machinery for manufacturing arms :

“ammunition” includes also all articles especially designed for torpedo service and submarine mining, rockets, gun-cotton, dynamite, lithofracteur and other explo­sive or fulminating material, gun-flint, gun-wads, per­cussion-caps, fuses and friction-tubes, all parts of ammunition and all machinery for manufacturing ammunition, but does not include lead, sulphur or salt­petre:

“military stores" , in any section of this Act as applied to any part of 1[Pakistan], means any military stores to which the 2[Federal Government] may from time to time, by notification in the 3[official Gazette], specially extend such section in such part, and includes also all lead, sulphur, saltpetre and other material to which the 2[Federal Government] may from time to time so extend such section:

“ license” means a license granted under this Act, and “ licensed” means holding such license.

II.–MANUFACTURE, CONVERSION AND SALE

4[5. Unlicensed manufacture or conversion prohibited. No person shall manufacture or convert any arms, ammunition or military stores except under a license and in the manner and to the extent permitted thereby.].

 

1Subs. by the Central Laws (Statute Reform) Ordinance, 1960 (21 of 1960), s.3 and 2nd Sch. (with effect from the 14th October, 1955), for “the Provinces and the Capital of the Federation” which had been subs. by A. O., 1949, Arts. 3(2) and 4, for “British India.”

2Subs. by F.A.O., 1975, Art. 2 and Table, for “Central Government” which was subs. by A. O., 1937,for "G. G. in C.”.

3Subs. by A. O., 1937 for “Gazette of India”.

4Subs. by the Federal Laws (Revision and Declaration) Ordinance 1981 (27 of 1981), s. 3 and 2nd Sch. for the original section 5.


III.___ IMPORT, EXPORT AND TRANSPORT

6. Unlicensed importation and exportation prohibited. No person shall bring or take by 1[air, sea or land] into or out of 2[Pakistan] any arms, ammunition or military stores except under a license and in the manner and to the extent permitted by such license.

Importation and exportation of arms and ammunition for private use. Nothing in the first clause of this section extends to arms (other than cannon) or ammunition imported or exported in re­asonable quantities for his own private use by any person lawfully entitled to possess such arms or ammunition; but the Collector of Customs or any other officer empowered by the 3[Federal Government] in this behalf by name or in virtue of his office may at any time detain such arms or ammunition until he receives the orders of the 3[Federal Government] thereon.

Explanation.–Arms, ammunition and military stores taken from one part of 2[Pakistan] to another by sea or across inter­vening territory not being part of 2[Pakistan] are taken out of and brought into 2[Pakistan] within the meaning of this section.

7. Sanction of Federal Government required to warehousing of arms, etc. Notwithstanding anything contained in the 4[Customs Act, 1969 (IV of 1969)], no arms, ammunition or military stores shall be deposited in any warehouse licensed under section 5[13] of that Act without the sanction of the3[Federal Government].

8. [Levy of duties on arms, etc., imported by sea.] Rep. by the Amending Act, 1891 (XII of 1891).

9. [Power to impose duty on import by land.] Rep. by the Amending Act, 1891 (XII of 1891).

10. [Power to prohibit transport Transhipment of arms.] Omitted by the Federal Laws (Revision and Declaration) Ordinance, 1981 (XXV II of 1981), s. 3 and IInd Sch.

 

1Subs. by the Federal Laws (Revision and Declaration) Ordinance, 1981 (27 of 1981), s. 3 and 2nd Sch., for “sea or by land”.

2Subs. by the Central Laws (Statute Reform) Ordinance, 1960 (21 of 1960), s.3 and 2nd Sch. (with effect from the 14th October, 1955), for “the Provinces and the Capital of the Federation” which had been subs. by A. O., 1949, Arts. 3(2) and 4, for “British India.”

3Subs. by F.A.O., 1975, Art. 2 and Table, for “Central Government” which was subs., by A. O., 1937, for “L. G.”.

4Subs. by Ord. 27 of 1981, s. 3 and 2nd Sch., for “Sea Customs Act, 1878”.

5Subs. ibid., for “16”.


11. Power to establish searching stations. The 1[Federa1 Government] 2* * * may, at any places along the boundary-line between 3[Pakistan] and foreign territory 4* * *, and at such distance within such line as it deems expedient, establish, searching-posts at which all vessels, carts and baggage-animals, and all boxes, bales and packages in transit, may be stopped and searched for arms, ammunition and military stores by any officer empowered by 5[the Federal Government] in this behalf by name or in virtue of his office.

12. [Arrest of persons conveying arms, etc., under suspicious circumstances. Procedure where arrest made by person not Magistrate or Police officer.] Omitted by the Federal Laws (Revision and Declaration) Ordinance, 1981 (XXVII of 1981), s. 3 and IInd Sch.

13. [Prohibition of going armed without license.] Omitted by the Federal Laws (Revision and Declaration) Ordinance, 1981 (XXVII of 1981), s, 3 and IInd Sch.

14. [Un-licensed possession of fire-arms, etc.] Omitted by the Federal Laws (Revision and Declaration) Ordinance, 1981 (XXVII of 1981), s. 3 and IInd Sch.

15. [Possession of arms of any description without license prohibited in certain places.] Omitted by the Federal Laws (Revision and Declaration) Ordinance, 1981 (XXVII of 1981), s.3 and IInd Sch.

16. [In Certain cases arms to be deposited at police station or with licensed dealers.] Omitted by the Federal Laws (Revision and Declaration) Ordinance, 1981 (XXVII of 1981), s. 3 and IInd Sch.

V.–LICENCES

17. Power to make rule as to licenses. The 6[appropriate Government] may from time to time, by notification in the 7[official Gazette], make rules to determine the officers by whom the form in which, and the terms and conditions on and subject to which, any license shall be granted8; and may by such rules among other matters­–

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