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Gun licensees sweat through rule book (SIC)
KOTTAYAM, May 13, 2017 23:32 IST
Updated: May 13, 2017 23:38 IST
P.C. George, MLA, with his 12 bore gun at the training programme for gun licensees organised by the district police at Kottayam on Saturday.
Police team training licensees in Kottayam finds that most are clueless about Arms Act
“They called it fine targeting,” said B. Sreekumar, president of the Kottayam Nature Club, after interacting with the nearly 200 gun licensees in the district at the first ever training programme organised in the State for them by the police.
The conservationist had taken up the issue of indiscriminate killing of tortoise and birds by gun licensees.
Only when the licensees told him the reason behind the killing did he know why it was happening in a big way. “They were targeting the head of the tortoise to fine-tune their target practice,” he said, disgusted.
According to District Police Chief N. Ramachandran, the brain behind the training programme, the level of unawareness among the licensees regarding the Arms Act was an eye-opener. “Very few knew that the gun and the rounds should not be kept side by side. Nor did many know that the gun should not be kept loaded,” he said. Handing over the instrument to another person is also banned. Moreover, the licence is for using a particular instrument and as such a licensee cannot own other weapons based on the one he already has, he said.
There were 1,507 licensees in the district for 1,700 instruments, Mr. Ramachandran said.
“Many of the instruments are owned by individuals who received them as family heirloom,” he said, and pointed out that these people did not know much about the Arms Act.
P.C. George, the star
The star of the programme was, however, P.C. George, MLA, who owns a 12-bore gun and a pistol. The MLA arrived holding one each in each hand, without handing over the instruments to any of his aides. “Most of us keep the gun to pander to our egoism,” Mr. George said, elaborating on the reasons behind misuse of the instrument by licensees. He also talked about his hunting days.
The participants have signed an undertaking making it clear that they would adhere to the Arms Act while using the instruments in future. The programme will continue in the coming days with the licensees grouped together in several batches.