@spin_drift An "act of State" done by sovereign within the limits of powers cannot be questioned in court of law. Similarly what some British official said or wrote won't help much, it was made to look like it had been done within the limits of power of disarming all. That Arms Act 1878 was disarming act has even been acknowledged by the Indian Parliament in the objects and reasons of the Bill that became Arms Act 1959. The British Crown, the Parliament and Judiciary worked under British Common Law that evolved over centuries. The main or substantial question of law is did the British Parliament or its representatives that were enacting the laws in India or its British colonies anywhere in the world have legislative powers to make possession of personal arms or firearms a subject of licensing? License means permission and not a right. To find the answer let us read the relevant portions of English Bill of Rights 1688 and Article IV of Union with England Act 1707.
The English Bill of Rights 1688 can be read at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/aep/WillandMarSess2/1/2
The Article IV of Union with England Act 1707 can be read at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/aosp/1707/7
It says the following -
"That all the Subjects of the United Kingdom of Great Britain shall from and after the Union have full Freedom and Intercourse of Trade and Navigation to and from any port or place within the said United Kingdom and the Dominions and Plantations thereunto belonging And that there be a Communication of all other Rights Privileges and Advantages which do or may belong to the Subjects of either Kingdom except where it is otherwayes expressly agreed in these Articles"
Above clearly confirms that subjects of Dominions have Rights. The British India was a Dominion before 1947. As per Independence of India Act 1947 enacted by the British Parliament, two Dominions of India and Pakistan were created in 1947. The Subjects of both the Dominions got the Rights that are part of English Bill of Rights 1688 and the British Common Law. The same has been acknowledged by the Indian Constitution. It means we have those rights even today.
Now let us read the relevant portions of The English Bill of Rights 1688. The English Bill of Rights 1688 under the headings The Heads of Declaration of Lords and Commons, recited and under heading Subject’s Rights various Rights are listed. The "Standing Army" and "Subjects Arms" are important for RKBA.
The use of expression "Standing Army" and not just "Army" clearly implies that there exists a "Non Standing Army" or army of common people keeping and bearing arms that are their personal or individual rights and supplied by themselves, over which the king or his legislature has no right to disarm. They are commonly known as militia or irregulars. This can be confirmed from Text of the Assize of Arms of 1181 and Assize of Arms of 1252. Under Subject’s Rights for standing army it establishes that for raising or keeping regular or standing army at times of peace, the king needs Parliamentary approval( so that army may not be misused against army of common people or tax them needlessly).
Under Subjects Arms it clearly mentions that by causing several good Subjects being Protestants to be disarmed at the same time when Papists were both Armed and employed contrary to Law. It establishes that for purely political reasons the king had disarmed one class of people and kept other class of people armed and employed. Under Subject’s Rights for Subject's Arms it removes politically motivated class based restrictions, restores the pre existing rights of subjects which are Protestants to have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law. The expression "suitable to their Conditions" means suitable to their economic or financial conditions, that is which they can afford and "as allowed by Law" is affirmative and enabling and not some restrictive clause. This view can be further confirmed by reading the text of the Assize of Arms of 1181. The word Law in those times was used for Common Law as affirmative or enabling law and not restrictive law as in present times.
As one may refer pages 19, 20, 21, 25, 30, 33, 34, 35, 36, 41, 44, 47 under pages titled Opinion of the Court in District Of Columbia v. Heller at http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/07pdf/07-290.pdf
In this judgment the US Supreme Court has acknowledged that the 2nd Amendment and RKBA is descending from English Bill of Rights 1688-89.
Since it is well settled by the above that RKBA is part and parcel of British Common Law and acknowledged by English Bill of Rights 1688-89, that is why the Firearms Act 1968 talks of "certificate" and not "license" to possess shotgun. The Act can be read at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1968/27/contents
Certificate is a document in which a fact is formally attested. Example - Birth Certificate, Death Certificate.
Certify is to attest as being true or as meeting certain criteria. To testify in writing; to make known or establish as a fact.
License is a permission, usually revocable, to commit some act that would otherwise be unlawful.
"If my mother tongue is shaking the foundations of your State, it probably means that you built your State on my land" - Musa Anter, Kurdish writer, assassinated by the Turkish secret services in 1992