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Is It Legal To Fire A Gun In The Air?

Well, it is illegal to fire a gun in the air in India. At first, it might sound like a fun idea to fire a gun in the air for no apparent reason or for some celebration or anything like that, but keep in mind that there are laws in place in India that can land you heavy fines and even jail time. Let’s get to know about it in a better way by going in-depth. Here we go.

Fire A Gun

Owning and Using Firearms in India

Owning, maintaining, and utilizing a firearm of any kind in India is highly controlled by the Arms Act of 1959. See, a citizen can legally own and maintain a firearm within the country if the individual holds a license applied for and issued after proper background verification, police report, and many other criteria. These rules are governed to make sure that it is properly used but not to endanger public safety, you know?

What’s Not Allowed Under the Arms Act?

As outlined in the Arms Act, no one is supposed to just shoot anyhow in public, and for no good and sufficient reason. Shooting a gun in the air, for instance, while celebrating, or during events, does not qualify as a good and sufficient reason. Simply put, such misuse is illegal and punishable. See, firearms are meant only for self-defense, crop protection, and sports, with proper authorization, and strict safety measures have to be followed.

What the Indian Penal Code Says

Besides the Arms Act, firing guns in the air is also a crime under the IPC. Section 336 of the IPC deals with acts of endangering life or personal safety. Firing a gun in the air, especially in crowded places, could lead to grievous injuries, or in extreme cases, death when the bullets fall. The act is, therefore, considered as reckless and can land someone a criminal charge. If someone dies due to celebratory firing, the person responsible can be charged under Section 304A for causing death by negligence, which can mean severe penalties, including jail time.

Stricter Penalties with the Arms (Amendment) Act, 2019

The Arms (Amendment) Act, 2019, brought in tougher penalties for illegal firearm possession and misuse. The act is aimed at containing the rising gun violence and irresponsible use of the gun. Under this amendment, people caught in celebratory firing can face harsh consequences, such as losing their firearm license, having their weapon confiscated, and facing hefty fines or jail time. This amendment was made just to let people know about the consequences of taking part in dangerous practices and to encourage responsible gun handling.

Effects of Celebratory Gunfire

Engaging in celebratory firing can have serious legal and social consequences. One, it can lead to the immediate cancellation of your firearm license. The authorities are empowered to seize your gun and cancel your license if you are convicted of misuse. Two, you can face criminal charges under the IPC and be jailed and fined based on the damage caused. Celebratory firing also threatens public safety because falling bullets can land on people and cause unintended injuries or deaths, and there have been many cases where people have died as a result of that.


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