FIREARMS ordinance

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

General Provisions

2. Interpretation.

3. Licences and permits.

4. Power of licensing authority to refuse to issue licence or permit.

5. Renewal of licences.

6. Secretary may withdraw licence or permit.

7. Proceedings when licence is lost, destroyed.

8. Licence to be in foil and counterfoil.

Importation of Guns

9. Restriction of importation of guns.

10. Importation by dealers and persons other than passengers.

11. Importation by passengers.

Sale of Guns

12. Licence to sell guns.

13. Dealers to keep registers.

14. Procedure for purchase of guns.

Transfer of Guns

15. Transfer of guns.

16. Endorsement of licence on transfer.

17. Licence to manufacture guns.

18. Marking of guns manufactured in Sri Lanka.

19. Manufacturers to keep registers.

Repair of Guns

20. Licence to repair guns.

21. Procedure to be followed by licensed repairers.

Possession of Guns

22. Licence to possess a gun.

23. Licence how obtained.

24. Stamp duty on licences.

25. Appeals.

26. A licence holder.

27. Register of licences.

28. Licensed guns may be marked by the licensing authority.

29. Deposit of guns by becoming disentitled to possession.

30. Delivery and confiscation of guns not lawfully possessed.

31. Proof of possession.

32. Fine in lieu of prosecution.

33. Duty on destruction or loss of guns.

Watchers' Permits

34. Watcher's permits.

Parts of Guns

35. Parts of guns.

Cancellation or Suspension of Licences

36. Powers of Minister to suspend or cancel licences by Order.

37. Publication of Order in proclaimed district.

Powers and Duties of Peace Officers and Grama Niladharis

38. Public officer may arrest without warrant.

39. Power to search premises suspected to contain unlicensed guns.

40. Duty of peace officer to give information.

Jurisdiction and Procedure of Courts

41. Jurisdiction of courts.

42. Proof of using, carrying, possessing, manufacturing, or selling.

43. Liability of owner of gun when used by unauthorised, person.

44. Penalties.

44A. Penalties for offences specified in Schedule C.

44B. Penalties for offences specified in Schedule D.

45. Confiscation of guns.

Exemptions

46. Exemptions.

47. Minister may exempt any person or area from Ordinance.

Miscellaneous

48. Duty of persons leaving Sri Lanka with guns to report to licensing authority.

49. Service of notices.

50. Sale of cartridges.

51. Power of licensing authority to delegable certain functions.

51A. State to be bound.

51B. Regulations.

52. Declarations free of stamp duty.

53. Forms.

SCHEDULES

33 of 1916,

6 of 1920,

12 of 1945,

7 of 1947,

38 of 1975.

18 of 1955,

22 of 1955,

8 of 1980,

50 of 1981,

22 of 1996.

AN ORDINANCE to amend the law relating to Firearms.

[Date of Commencement: 1st April, 1917]

1. Short title.

This Ordinance may be cited as the Firearms Ordinance.

General Provisions

2. Interpretation.

For the purpose of this Ordinance—

"agricultural purpose” means any purpose relating to—

(i) the growing of rice, all field crops, spices and condiments, industrial crops, vegetables, fruits, flowers, pasture and fodder;

(ii) dairy farming, livestock rearing and breeding, or

(iii) plant and fruit nurseries;

[Ins by s 2 of Act 8 of 1980.]

"automatic gun” means a gun which repeatedly ejects an empty cartridge shell, and introduces new cartridge on the firing of the gun;

[Ins by s 2(1)of Act 22 of 1996.]

. . .

["Government Agent” rep by s 2(2) of Act 22 of 1996.]

"gun” includes—

(a) any barrelled weapon of any description from which any shot, pellet or other missile can be discharged with sufficient force to penetrate not less than eight straw boards, each of three-sixty-fourth of an inch thickness placed one-half of an inch apart, the first such straw board being at a distance of fifty feet from the muzzle of the weapon, the plane of the straw boards being perpendicular to the line of fire; or

(b) any component part of any such weapon; or

(c) any accessory to any such weapon designed or adapted—

(i) to diminish the noise or flash caused by firing the weapon, or

(ii) to facilitate the aiming of the weapon; or

(d) any weapon of whatever description designed or adapted for the discharge of any noxious substance;

but does not include an air gun;

["gun”(d) subs by s 2(3) of Act 22 of 1996.]

"licensing authority” means the Secretary;

[Subs by s 2(4) of Act 22 of 1996.]

"manufacture” of guns includes the assembling of any parts whatsoever, whether old or new, so as to form a gun;

"peace officer” includes any police officer and any Grama Niladhari appointed in writing to perform police duties;

[Subs by s 2(5)of Act 22 of 1996.]

"Secretary” means the Secretary to the Ministry of the Minister in charge of the subject of Defence.

[Ins by s 2(6)of Act 22 of 1996.]

3. Licences and permits.

The importation, manufacture, repair, sale, transfer, and possession of guns in Sri Lanka shall take place only in accordance with licences, and permits provided for by this Ordinance.

4. Power of licensing authority to refuse to issue licence or permit.

A licensing authority in his discretion may refuse to issue—

(a) any licence (not being a licence for the possession of a gun in respect of which a permit for purchase or transfer has been issued under this Ordinance);

(b) any permit under this Ordinance.

5. Renewal of licences.

(1) When any person on whom the duty of taking out a licence is cast by this Ordinance has complied with the requirements of the Ordinance and taken out the necessary licence, it shall be his duty, before the expiration of the period for which such licence has been granted, to make application for a renewal of the licence for the next ensuing period, if he desires, during such further period, to continue to enjoy the privilege conferred on him by the already existing licence. The licensing authority may require as a condition precedent to the consideration of such application that the applicant provides for inspection of the gun which is the subject of the application.

(2) The licensing authority may, in his discretion, refuse the renewal of any licence.

(3) A licence may be renewed by the endorsement of the renewal thereof by the licensing authority on the original licence, and each renewal shall be subject to the same stamp duty as the original licence.

6. Secretary may withdraw licence or permit.

(1) The Secretary may, by notice served upon the holder thereof, withdraw any licence or permit issued under this Ordinance—

(a) when the holder of such licence or permit is convicted of any offence under this Ordinance, or under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance in respect of the commission of which a gun was used, or under any of the sections of the Penal Code enumerated in Schedule B; or

(b) when (for reasons to be recorded by him in writing) the Secretary deems it necessary for the security of the public peace to withdraw such licence or permit; or

(c) if the Secretary is satisfied that the possession and use of a gun by the holder of the licence or permit is not necessary for the purpose for which he required the gun at the time of the issue or last renewal; or

(d) if the Secretary is satisfied that the possession and use of the gun by such holder is dangerous to the life or property of any other person or persons.

(2) The decision of the Secretary shall be final and conclusive. Secretary's decision final.

[S 6 am by s 3 of Act 22 of 1996.]

7. Proceedings when licence is lost, destroyed.

If any licence granted under the provisions of this Ordinance shall be destroyed, defaced, or lost, it shall be lawful for the person to whom the same shall have been granted to report the same to the licensing authority who issued the licence, and if such licensing authority is satisfied that the licence has been destroyed, defaced, or lost, he shall grant to such person, on payment of a stamp duty of ten rupees, a certificate as near as is material in the form A in Schedule A.

[S 7 am by s 4 of Act 22 of 1996.]

8. Licence to be in foil and counterfoil.

All licences and all renewals thereof and all certificates under section 7 shall be made out in foil and counterfoil, and all stamps required by this Ordinance in respect of any licence shall be affixed to the counterfoil.

Importation of Guns

9. Restriction of importation of guns.

(1) The importation of guns or parts of guns into Sri Lanka is prohibited, except—

(a) through any approved port of entry in Sri Lanka; or

[S 9(1)(a) am by s 5(1)of Act 22 of 1996.]

(b) by passengers arriving at any approved port of entry in Sri Lanka as part of their personal baggage.

[S 9(1)(b) am by s 5(1)of Act 22 of 1996.]

(2) Any person importing a gun or any part of a gun into Sri Lanka otherwise than in accordance with this section shall be guilty of an offence, and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred rupees, or to imprisonment of either description for a period not exceeding six months, or to both; or on conviction before a District Court to a fine not exceeding ten thousand rupees, or to imprisonment of either description for a period not exceeding five years, or to both.

[S 9(2) am by s 5(2) of Act 22 of 1996.]

10. Importation by dealers and persons other than passengers.

(1) Any person licensed under section 12 of this Ordinance (hereinafter referred to as a "licensed dealer”) who shall import a gun into Sri Lanka for the purpose of his business shall not remove such gun from the customs premises to his place of business until he shall have obtained a permit from the Secretary authorising him so to remove the gun. Such permit shall be substantially in form B 1 in Schedule A.

[S 10(1) am by s 6 of Act 22 of 1996.]

(2) Any person other than a licensed dealer, or a passenger under section 9(1)(b), who shall import a gun into Sri Lanka shall not remove the said gun from the customs premises until he shall have made a declaration to the customs authorities substantially in Form B 2 in Schedule A, and obtained a permit from the Secretary substantially in such form.

[S 10(2) am by s 6 of Act 22 of 1996.]

(3) Such permits shall be granted on application, provided, however, that in any special case the application may be referred for the order of the Minister.

(4) Any person removing any gun from the customs premises without such permit, or otherwise than in accordance with its provisions, shall be guilty of an offence against this Ordinance.

11. Importation by passengers.

Any passenger importing a gun as part of his personal baggage, shall not remove such gun from the customs premises until he shall have made a declaration and obtained from the Secretary, a permit substantially in Form C in Schedule A, and any person who shall remove such gun from the customs premises without such permit, or otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of this section shall be guilty of an offence against this Ordinance.

[S 11 subs by s 7 of Act 22 of 1996.]

Sale of Guns

12. Licence to sell guns.

(1) No person shall expose or keep for sale any gun without a licence from the Secretary.

[S 12(1) subs by s 8(1)of Act 22 of 1996.]

(2) Every such licence shall be as near as is material in Form D in Schedule A, and shall bear a stamp of five hundred rupees.

[S 12(2)am by s 8(2)of Act 22 of 1996.]

(3) Every such licence shall be annual, and shall expire on the thirty-first day of December next ensuing after the issue thereof.

(4) Any person exposing or keeping for sale any gun except in accordance with this section shall be guilty of an offence against this Ordinance.

13. Dealers to keep registers.

(1) It shall be the duty of every person licensed under section 12

(a) to keep a register in the form E in Schedule A;

(b) to enter therein a correct description of all guns received by him, and of all guns in any way disposed of by him; and

(c) to verify at the end of every month the number of guns in his possession, and enter such number in his register.

(2) It shall be lawful for any police officer not below the rank of Sub-Inspector, or any person authorised in writing by the Inspector-General of Police, at any reasonable time, to take a copy of the entries in such register or any portion thereof, and to examine the stock of guns of any person licensed as aforesaid.

(3) Any person failing to keep a register and make the entries prescribed by this section shall be guilty of an offence against this Ordinance, and any person obstructing any officer acting in pursuance of subsection (2) hereof shall be guilty of an offence, and shall be punishable with the penalties prescribed by section 183 of the Penal Code.

14. Procedure for purchase of guns.

(1) Every person desirous of purchasing a gun from a licensed dealer shall apply to the licensing authority for a permit to purchase. Every such application shall be substantially in accordance with that contained in form F in Schedule A.

(2) The licensing authority may, on being satisfied that there is no objection thereto, issue the permit to the intending purchaser, and such permit shall be the licensed dealer's authority for selling such gun to the said purchaser.

(3) It shall be the duty of the licensed dealer in any such case to enter the number of the permit in his register, and to forward the permit to the licensing authority within three days of the sale.

[S 14(3) am by s 9 of Act 22 of 1996.]

(4) Every such permit shall lapse on the expiration of thirty days from the date of its issue.

(5) Any licensed dealer selling or otherwise disposing of any gun, except in accordance with this section, or upon a permit that has lapsed, shall be guilty of an offence against this Ordinance.

Transfer of Guns

15. Transfer of guns.

(1) No person shall transfer any gun for the possession of which a licence has been issued under this Ordinance by way of sale or by way of pledge or gift to any other person save in accordance with a permit issued to the intending transferee by the licensing authority authorising such transfer.

(2) Every such permit shall be issued on payment of a fee of fifty rupees and shall be in accordance with form G in Schedule A, and shall lapse after the expiration of thirty days from the date thereof.

[S 15(2) am by s 10 of Act 22 of 1996.]

(3) Any person transferring any gun to any other person otherwise than in accordance with this section, and any person receiving any gun so transferred, shall be guilty of an offence against this Ordinance, and shall on conviction be punishable for the first offence as provided in paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of section 22 and for the second or any subsequent offence as provided in paragraph (b) of that subsection.

16. Endorsement of licence on transfer.

(1) Every person transferring a gun in accordance with such permit shall deliver to the transferee with the gun the licence under which he is authorised to possess the gun, and the transferee shall, within ten days of obtaining the said gun and licence, apply to the licensing authority for the endorsement to himself of such licence, and upon the endorsement of such licence to the transferee by the licensing authority the transferee shall have all the rights and shall be subject to all the liabilities of the transferor under the said licence in lieu of the said transferor.

(2) The provisions of this section and of section 15 shall not apply to transfers to licensed dealers, but in the case of any such transfer it shall be the duty of the transferee to require as a condition of the transfer that the gun licence issued in respect of the gun shall be delivered to him with the gun, and within three days of the receipt of such licence to forward the same to the licensing authority endorsed with a memorandum of the transaction. A licensed dealer who fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of an offence against this Ordinance.

17. Licence to manufacture guns.

(1) No person shall manufacture any gun without a licence from the licensing authority.

[S 17(1) am by s 11(1) of Act 22 of 1996.]

(2) Every such licence shall be as near as is material in Form H in Schedule A, and shall bear a stamp of five hundred rupees.

[S 17(2) subs by s 4 of Act 8 of 1980; am by s 11(2) of
Act 22 of 1996.]

(3) Every such licence shall be annual, and shall expire on the thirty-first day of December next ensuing after the issue thereof.

(4) A licence shall not be issued to any person under this section unless he is already a holder of a licence to sell guns under section 12.

(5) Any person manufacturing a gun in contravention of this section shall be guilty of an offence against this Ordinance.

18. Marking of guns manufactured in Sri Lanka.

(1) Every gun made by a manufacturer of guns licensed in Sri Lanka, after the passing of this Ordinance, shall bear the name of the manufacturer, together with a consecutive number, legibly engraved on the barrel.

(2) Any licensed manufacturer who shall fail so to mark any gun made by him shall be guilty of an offence against this Ordinance.

19. Manufacturers to keep registers.

(1) It shall be the duty of every person licensed under section 17—

(a) to keep a register in the form I in Schedule A;

(b) to enter therein a correct description of all guns made by him, of the numbers with which they are marked, and of the manner in which such guns are disposed of; and

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