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Thread: Is Right to Keep Arms a Fundamental Right?

  1. #1
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    Is Right to Keep Arms a Fundamental Right?

    The Ministry of Interior last year issued the gazette notification of Pakistan Arms Rules, 2021 besides sending its details to the NADRA for further implementation, The notification says that taxpayers having their name borne on the active taxpayers' list of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) with a ceiling of not less than Rs 50,000/- per annum are only eligible for the non-prohibited bore arms, this is unjust and against the law because an active taxpayer registered with FBR whose income is not taxable to the extent of Rs 50,000 per annum won't be eligible under this new eligibility criteria to obtain a firearm license for his own protection or sports. Article 25 of the constitution mandates that all citizens are equal before the law and applicable law does not permit the person to be favored merely on account of the income tax, he has paid to the FBR.

    I would like to discuss the matter at some length.


    • Before the British came to India the situation in Indian subcontinent was that in almost every house there were some arms. Possession of arms was regarded as a sign of dignity and self-respect.



    • Protecting oneself and one’s honour, mind, wealth and religion is a well-established basic principle in Islam. These are the five essentials which are well known to Muslims. A person has to defend himself; it is not permissible for him to consume that which will harm him, and it is not permissible for him to allow anyone to harm him. If a person or a vicious animal etc attacks him, he has to defend himself, or his family or his property. Thus, in our culture & religion the value of arms for leading a life of self-respect and dignity has been accepted.



    • When the British came to Indian subcontinent, they had to face armed resistance from the feudal kings. Due to their technological and organizational superiority they gradually overcome this resistance and spread their rule. It was only after putting down the Mutiny of 1857 that the British decided to disarm the people. Having been shocked by the sudden, widespread uprising against them they decided that to avoid such revolts in future they must (1) disarm the people (2) divide the people. This policy was implemented so effectively that up to 1947 there was hardly any significant uprising against them.



    • The Pakistan Arms Ordinance of 1965, was intended to disarm the entire nation. Even after independence, the law declaring 'swords daggers, spears, spear-heads, bow and arrows' as 'arms' has been allowed to continue unaltered on the statute book. The rigours of the Arms Act and Rules thereunder continue to make it difficult for law abiding citizens to possess even a non-prohibited bore firearms for self-defense purposes whereas terrorists, dacoit-gangs and other anti-social or anti-national elements are using not only civilian weapons but also bombs, hand grenades, prohibited bore automatic rifles and service rifles of military types, for perpetrating heinous crimes against society and the State.



    • The position in our country today is that unfortunately the law-and-order enforcing authorities are not providing adequate protection to the citizens. The result is that the decent, respectable and law-abiding citizens are defenseless if a gangster or criminal enters their house with a weapon, or accosts them elsewhere. If such criminal enters one's house with a weapon he can loot the entire property there, dishonor the women and do as he please because an unarmed person cannot be reasonably expected to put up resistance against a person carrying a gun or rifle. If, on the other hand, ore has a pistol with him he can put up resistance against such criminals. In these days the situation is that the criminals are armed with unlicensed guns, whereas the law-abiding citizens are not easily granted an arms license and thus they are at the mercy of the criminals.



    • In my opinion the right to bear arms is embedded in Article 9 of the Constitution and hence it is a fundamental right. No doubt this right, like all fundamental rights, is subject to reasonable restrictions, but the reasonability of the restriction must be judged from the point of view of the prevailing social conditions and not in the abstract Hence what may have been reasonable earlier may no longer be reasonable today.



    • Liberal grant of arms licenses will reduce crimes and not increase them (as some people imagine). The criminal will be afraid to at lack law abiding citizens if the latter are armed.



    • In the second World War when Germany was about to attack Britain, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in one of his famous speeches said to the British people "Arm yourselves and be ye men of valour". In other words, Churchill recognized the reality that an unarmed person cannot reasonably be expected to be valorous when confronted with an armed criminal.



    • Some people apprehend that if there is liberal grant of armed licenses arms will be passed on by the licensees to dacoits and other anti-social elements. This again is an unfounded apprehension. The criminal already has firearms today (whether licensed or unlicensed). It is the decent, law-abiding people who need arms to protect themselves.



    • Normally it is the duty of the State to protect the citizens. However, when the State authorities are not properly discharging their function what is to be done. In such a situation the only reasonable view can be that the citizens must defend themselves and they can effectively do so only if they are armed.



    • If a person wishes to commit a crime with a weapon, he will ordinarily use an unlicensed weapon. This is because when shots are fired the chances are that the spent cartridge (or cartridges) will fall on the ground and this can be recovered by the police and by nothing the markings on the spent cartridge the particular weapon from which the bullet was fired can be traced out. Hence when a person wishes to commit a crime, he will in all likelihood use an unlicensed weapon because there are less chances of this being detected and apprehended. Hence also applications for arms licenses should normally be allowed so that people can carry licensed firearms rather than unlicensed ones, so that they can be traced out in cases of misuse.


    The interpretation I am taking is also in consonance with Pakistan Penal Code Sections 96 to 106 which give the right of self-defense. Thus Section 97 states.

    “Every person has a right, subject to the restrictions contained in Section 99, to defend”

    First: His own body, and the body of any other person, against any offence affecting the
    Human body.

    Secondly: The property, whether movable or immovable, of himself or of any
    other person, against any act which is an offence falling under the definition of theft,
    robbery, mischief or criminal trespass, or which is an attempt to commit theft, robbery,
    mischief or criminal trespass.

    Now the right of Self-defense/Right to Keep Arms must be an effective fundamental right. How can it be effective when a law-abiding citizen is unarmed while the criminal is armed?

    Link to the policy: https://www.docdroid.net/uX4UJsW/arm...16-09-2021-pdf

  2. #2
    Member Emeritus Enigmatic Desires's Avatar
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    I totally agree with your thoughts, good Mr. Thinker. I am sure we all do.

    The cravat that one has to pay 50k to the tax authorities per annum to be deemed eligible for a simple pistol license is outrageous. And the fact that 100k per annum tax makes you eligible for a PB license is every bit as outragous. If I pay enough money to the tax authorities every year I am entitled to self defence, if not.. Well. I don't have the right..

    THat's beyond ridiculous..
    "Keep a complete control over your Temper and Anger because I never found anything more beneficial at the end and producing more good results then such a control" Hazrat Ali (A.S) tz.enigmatic@gmail.com

  3. #3
    Our present US government is trying to do something similar by requiring all sorts of special training, fees, insurance, etc. By our constitution the government cannot write a law that gives privileges according to wealth. Out constitutional 2nd Amendment is often argued about, but it does grant us some protection to exercise our firearms rights.

  4. #4
    Lord of War
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyc View Post
    Our present US government is trying to do something similar by requiring all sorts of special training, fees, insurance, etc. By our constitution the government cannot write a law that gives privileges according to wealth. Out constitutional 2nd Amendment is often argued about, but it does grant us some protection to exercise our firearms rights.
    And unfortunately, our problem is, our Govt. cannot provide us protection besides paying a hefty amount of taxes/duties (Direct and Indirect). With the increased cost of living, about 90% of the population rely on their own resources. The most unfortunate, is the officials (the mighty ones) don't consider the Constitution as sacred document. They treat it as a piece of paper.

  5. #5
    Member Emeritus Enigmatic Desires's Avatar
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    Interestingly, the powerful people in .. well.. power, have hundreds of heavily armed guards protecting them 24/7. They travel in armored vehicles in convoys, while coming up with these ridiculous laws.
    "Keep a complete control over your Temper and Anger because I never found anything more beneficial at the end and producing more good results then such a control" Hazrat Ali (A.S) tz.enigmatic@gmail.com

  6. #6
    The person who born in Pakistan should be eligible to obtain firearm license with nominal fee
    Every human life is precious not the ones who own millions or billions
    This was the most idiotic notification ever presented
    Basic interest Shotguns 💕
    My life my rules...

  7. #7
    As we say here..."When seconds count...the police are just minutes away".
    One must take responsibility for their own security. Most people (sheeple) don't seem to understand that basic fact and try to force us to comply with their false and foolish fears and beliefs.

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