The government has imposed ban on using and carrying air gun to protect wildlife, especially migratory birds. This order will remain in force until further notice.
The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has issued a notification in this regard on Monday as per directive of the President. The ban would be effective from December 14, said a notification from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on Tuesday.
However, shooting clubs registered with the National Shooting Federation and people living around the forests will be out of the purview of the ban due to their safety, daily needs, and social norms.
The circular, signed by the ministry's deputy secretary Deepak Kumar Chakraborty, said the use or carrying of airguns was prohibited under section 49 of the Wildlife (Conservation and Security) Act 2012.
Forest Department officials said some people indiscriminately hunt migratory birds in winter season using air rifles and air pistols, which is gradually destroying the biodiversity.
In November, the Forest Department also proposed appropriate punishment against those who breach the law by amending the Wildlife (Conservation and Protection) Law 2012.
On November 9, the ministry held a meeting headed by its Additional Secretary Iqbal Abdullah Harun to discuss the proposal.
An airgun is a gun that fires projectiles pneumatically with compressed air or other gases that are mechanically pressurized without involving any chemical reactions, in contrast to a firearm, which pressurizes gases chemically via oxidation of combustible propellants that generates propulsive energy by breaking molecular bonds.
The first air guns were developed as early as in the 16th century, and have since been used in hunting, shooting sport and even in warfare. There are three different power sources for modern air guns, depending on the design: spring-piston, pneumatic, or bottled compressed gas (most commonly carbon dioxide).
Such weapons are mostly used in greater Sylhet, hill tracts, and in coastal areas.
The 2012 act banned wildlife hunting, but people continue to take advantage of the absence of barriers to carrying or buying air guns while there is no monitoring of the trade of these weapons, the Forest Department said.