Case Study 6

You have been appointed as the district magistrate (DM) of a region in eastern India. Being a DM, you have the authority to issue an arms license (or deny it) to those who apply for it. In the last few days, your office is receiving many applications from doctors and businessmen for issuing a license for gun. When you enquired into the matter, you found that most of these people are victims of extortion and protection money demanded by the local goons. If not paid, these people are beaten or sometimes even shot. Police are also not doing their part to control the situation. 

Explain, what can be the various repercussions of issuing or not issuing the gun license to these people. Also, analyze the various repercussions such crimes have on society and the economy. What steps you can take as a DM to control the situation?


The issue of arms license is based on the degree of perceived threat. It may help in reducing the number of extortion cases as criminals will be deterred. It will give the Doctors and businessmen a sense of safety. It will help them to focus on their work, and not get intimidated by criminals. If they are issued an arms license, this situation may be averted. However, issuing more licenses may open the floodgates for such applications. It may develop a gun culture in society. People, instead of having trust in law enforcement agencies, will try to take the law into their own hands.

Such crimes have serious repercussions for society and the economy. It instils fear among the law-abiding citizens. The productive capacity of people is seriously affected in an environment of fear. Also, many times these people have to move out of the state. So, it has a bearing on the economy as well. The high degree of prevalent crime also prohibits investments in the state. It acts as a deterrent for industries and businesses to be set up in the state.

Not, issuing of arms licenses needs to be supplemented by increased law and order conditions in the state. Police protection should be provided to those who are under threat. Police should also intensify steps to crack down on criminals. As a DM, these are some of the steps which I will be taking:

  • Meeting the concerned senior police officials and appraising them of the situation.
  • Informing the concerned ministry through a detailed report.
  • Intensifying police operations to crack down on criminal gangs.
  • Providing police protection to those receiving threat calls.
  • Activating local intelligence sources
  • Persuading people to register a complaint
  • Issuing of arms license, in selective cases.
  • They are assuring people of the protection of their life and property.

Such crimes have severe consequences for the society and economy. So, the district administration should put in all efforts to curb it and ensure a peaceful environment for people to develop their full potential.

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