With a whopping 12.77 lakh people authorised to carry weapons, Uttar Pradesh tops the list of states with active gun licences followed by Jammu and Kashmir where 3.69 lakh people are having arms licences. As per the statistics released by the home ministry, the nation has a total of 33,69,444 active gun licences as on 31 December, 2016.
In UP, most of gun licences were issued in the name of personal security. The population of Uttar Pradesh is 19,98,12,341, as per the 2011 census. Jammu and Kashmir, the militancy-hit state has 3,69,191 licenced gun holders. It includes both prohibited bore and non-prohibited bore arms. The total population of the state according to 2011 census is 1,25,41,302.
Punjab that witnessed terrorism in the 1980s and 1990s, has 3,59,349 active gun licence holders. Punjab has a population of 2,77,43,338, according to the 2011 census. While, there are 2,47,130 active gun licences in Madhya Pradesh, in Haryana 1,41,926 people are authorised to carry licenced weapons.
The other states having large number of licenced gun holders are Rajasthan (1,33,968 licences), Karnataka (1,13,631), Maharashtra (84,050), Bihar (82,585), Himachal Pradesh (77,069), Uttarakhand (64,770), Gujarat (60,784) and West Bengal (60,525).
While Delhi has 38,754 licenced gun holders, Nagaland has 36,606, Arunachal Pradesh 34,394, Manipur 26,836, Tamil Nadu 22,532 and Odisha was issued 20,588 licences. Assam has 19,283 active gun licences, Meghalaya 18,688, Jharkhand 17,654, Mizoram 15,895 and Kerala 9,459, they said.
Notably, small Union territories such as Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli were issued the lowest number of gun licences.