Arms and Explosives Act
(CHAPTER 13)

(Original Enactment: Ordinance 9 of 1913)

REVISED EDITION 1985
(30th March 1987)
An Act to regulate the manufacture, use, sale, storage, transport, importation, exportation and possession of arms and explosives.
[12th December 1913]
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Arms and Explosives Act.
Interpretation
2.—(1)  In this Act —
“arms” includes firearms, air-guns, air-pistols, automatic guns, automatic pistols, and guns or any other kind of gun from which any shot, bullet or other missile can be discharged or noxious fumes can be emitted and any component part of any such arms, and bayonets, swords, daggers, spears and spearheads;
“carriage” includes any carriage, wagon, cart, truck or other vehicle used for the conveyance of goods or passengers by land, in whatever manner the same is propelled or moved;
“deal in”, with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions, includes repair, sell, keep or expose for sale;
“explosive”  —
(a)means gunpowder, nitro-glycerine, dynamite, gun-cotton, blasting powder, fulminate of mercury or of other metals, coloured fires and every other substance, whether similar to those abovementioned or not, used or manufactured with a view to producing a practical effect by explosion or a pyrotechnic effect;
(b)includes fog signals, fireworks, fuses, rockets, percussion-caps, detonators, cartridges and ammunition of all descriptions, and every adaptation or preparation of an explosive as above defined; and
(c)includes sand crackers, and any substance declared to be deemed an explosive by notification under section 5(1)(a);
“gun” includes howitzers, mortars, quick-firing and machine-guns, and other guns of a similar nature;
“licensed auctioneer” means any person licensed under the Auctioneers’ Licences Act as an auctioneer;
“licensed dealer” means a person licensed under this Act to manufacture or deal in arms or guns;
“licensing authority” means such person or authority as may be appointed by the Minister under section 9;
“manufacture” includes the preparation of any component parts of an explosive, the admixture or other treatment of the same, the breaking up or unmaking of any explosive, and the process of remaking or making fit for use any damaged explosive, and the process of remaking, altering or repairing any explosive;
“master” includes every person having command or charge of a vessel or aircraft other than a pilot of a vessel;
“Port Master” has the same meaning as in the Port of Singapore Authority Act [Cap. 236];
“railway administration” means any person or body of persons responsible for the regulation of traffic on any railway;
“vessel” includes any steam or sailing ship, junk, boat, sampan or any kind of craft used for the conveyance of persons or things by water.
(2)  A person shall be deemed to export an article from Singapore to a particular country, territory or place if he takes or sends the article out of Singapore with the intention that it shall ultimately reach that country, territory or place, either directly or indirectly.
(3)  A person shall be deemed to have imported an article into Singapore who, whether as owner, consignee, agent or broker, is in possession of or in any way entitled to the custody or control of the article.
Exemptions from operation of this Act
3.—(1)  Nothing in this Act shall apply to —
(a)the manufacture, possession, use, storage, sale, transport, importation or exportation, in accordance with the provisions of any rules made under this Act, of any explosive by order of the Government;
(b)the manufacture, dealing in, possession, importation or exportation, in accordance with the provisions of any rules made under this Act, of any article by order of the Government;
(c)any of the following persons or their equipment while in the course of their duty or employment:
(i)members of the Singapore Armed Forces and of any visiting forces lawfully present in Singapore;
(ii)members of any naval, military or air volunteer forces established under any written law;
(iii)members of any additional forces established under any written law providing for compulsory service in the defence of Singapore;
(iv)members of the Singapore Police Force or any other police force on duty in Singapore;
(v)members of the Special Constabulary, additional constables and peace officers;
(vi)dog-shooters employed by the Government;
(d)any vessel belonging to or in the service of the Government or of any foreign government;
(e)any hulk or magazine for the storage or deposit of explosives of the Government or the government of any Commonwealth country;
(f)such articles as form part of the ordinary armament of any vessel or as are required for the service of any vessel or the personal use of the crew or the passengers thereof;
(g)the importation, exportation and possession, in accordance with such conditions as may be prescribed in rules made under this Act, of such arms and ammunition, forming part of the equipment of aircraft or carried therein for the personal use of passengers or crew, as may be permitted by such rules; or
(h)the possession in the course of his duty of arms and explosives by any person employed by the Government, such possession being specially authorised by the head of his department.
(2)  In any proceedings under this Act, proof of these facts shall rest with the person alleging them.
Minister may prohibit exportation by notification
4.—(1)  The Minister may, by notification published in the Gazette, prohibit for a period in the notification to be mentioned the exportation from Singapore, either absolutely, or to any country, territory or place outside Singapore, or may permit exportation or removal subject to such conditions, limitations or restrictions as he considers necessary in the notification to be specified, or the removal from place to place in Singapore, of all or any of the following articles:
(a)arms, guns, explosives or any specified class of explosives, aircraft, armoured cars, tanks, naval, military or air force stores or any war material whatsoever including any poisonous or noxious gas;
(b)articles which, in the opinion of the Minister, are capable of being converted into or of being made useful for manufacturing any of the said articles;
(c)provisions or any sort of victuals which may be used as food for man.
(2)  Any person who exports or removes, or attempts to export or remove, any article in contravention of any notification issued under this section or in breach of the restrictions and conditions subject to or upon which any licence is issued shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000.
Extension of definition of explosive and prohibition as to explosives by notification
5.—(1)  The Minister may, by notification in the Gazette —
(a)declare that any substance which appears to the Minister to be specially dangerous to life or property, by reason either of its explosive properties or of any process in the manufacture thereof rendering it liable to explosion, shall be deemed to be an explosive within the meaning of this Act, subject to such exceptions, limitations and restrictions as are specified in the notification;
(b)prohibit, either absolutely or subject to conditions, the manufacture, possession or importation of any explosive which is of so dangerous a character that, in the opinion of the Minister, it is expedient for the public safety to issue such notification; and
(c)prohibit, either absolutely or subject to conditions, the importation, manufacture or possession of sand crackers or any squib or cracker which contains an explosive ingredient or mixture other than black gunpowder (that is to say, sulphur, charcoal and saltpetre) and any squib or cracker containing more than one-fifth of an ounce by weight of such black gunpowder.
(2)  Any person who manufactures, possesses or imports an explosive in contravention of a notification issued under this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $4,000.
Power to prohibit poisonous or noxious gas
6.—(1)  The Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, prohibit either absolutely or subject to conditions the manufacture, possession or importation of any poisonous or noxious gas .
(2)  Any person who commits any act in contravention of a notification issued under this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000 .
Penalty for unauthorised exportation or removal
7.—(1)  If any vessel or aircraft is used for the exportation or removal of any article in contravention of any notification issued under section 4, or for the importation of any explosive or poisonous or noxious gas in contravention of any notification issued under section 5 or 6, the masterand the owner thereof shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000, unless it is proved to the satisfaction of the court that the master or owner was not implicated in the placing or keeping of the article or explosive or poisonous or noxious gas on board the vessel or aircraft and that the offence in question was committed without his knowledge, consent or connivance, and the vessel or aircraft may be detained by order of the court until security has been given for such sum as the court orders not exceeding $5,000 .
(2)  Except as provided by section 3(1)(f), the finding on board any vessel or aircraft of any article the exportation or removal of which is in contravention of any notification issued under section 4 or of any explosive or poisonous or noxious gas the importation of which is in contravention of any notification issued under section 5 or 6 shall be prima facie evidence that the vessel or aircraft has been used for the exportation, removal or importation of the same contrary to this Act.
Licences
Licences required in respect of guns, arms and explosives
8.—(1)  No person shall, unless authorised thereto by licence, and in accordance with the conditions of the licence and such conditions as are prescribed —
(a)have in his possession or under his control any guns or arms or poisonous or noxious gas:
Provided that this sub-paragraph shall not apply to bayonets, swords, daggers, spears and spearheads in any dwelling-house kept therein as curios or for ornamental purposes;
(b)import any guns, arms or explosives or poisonous or noxious gas;
(c)export any guns, arms or naval or military stores or poisonous or noxious gas; or
(d)manufacture or deal in guns or arms or poisonous or noxious gas.
(2)  Any person who, in contravention of this section —
(a)imports any guns, arms or explosives or poisonous or noxious gas;
(b)exports any guns, arms or poisonous or noxious gas or naval or military stores; or
(c)manufactures or deals in guns or arms or poisonous or noxious gas,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $3,000 and to imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 years.
(3)  Any person who, in contravention of this section, has in his possession or under his control any gun shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000 for every such gun and to imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 years.
(4)  Any person who, in contravention of this section, has in his possession or under his control any arms or poisonous or noxious gas shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000 and to imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 years, and if, upon the conviction of any person of an offence under this subsection, it is proved to the satisfaction of the court before which the conviction is had that the offender had possession or control of the arms or poisonous or noxious gas for the purpose of committing an offence punishable under the Penal Code [Cap. 224], the offender shall, in addition to the imprisonment prescribed by this subsection, be liable to caning.
Appointment of licensing authority
9.—(1)  The Minister may, by rules made under section 40 or by notification in the Gazette, appoint any person or authority to be the licensing authority for the purpose of carrying into effect all or any of the provisions of this Act or of any rules made thereunder.
(2)  The licensing authority may issue licences under this Act to approved persons on payment of the prescribed fee and any other prescribed charges.
Conditions of licences
10.  Every licence issued under this Act or any rules made thereunder shall be deemed to be issued and held subject, in addition to any others which are prescribed, to the following conditions:
(a)it shall expire after such period as is prescribed;
(b)it shall be liable to suspension or cancellation, without any reason being given therefor, at any time by the licensing authority; and
(c)it shall not be transferable save as in this Act provided.
Appeal
11.  Any person dissatisfied with any refusal, suspension or cancellation of a licence may within one month appeal in writing to the Minister whose decision shall be final and conclusive.
No purchase of guns or arms from licensed dealer without licence
12.—(1)  No person shall take delivery of any guns or arms from a licensed dealer without a licence authorising the purchase thereof, nor beyond the extent permitted thereby.
(2)  No licensed dealer shall deliver to any person any guns or arms except upon delivery to him of the licence nor beyond the extent permitted thereby.
(3)  Any person who commits any act in contravention of this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $200:
Provided that this section shall not apply to bayonets, swords, daggers, spears and spearheads bona fide intended to be kept as curios or for ornamental purposes.
Delivery by other than licensed dealers
13.—(1)  Any person, not being a licensed dealer, in possession of any guns, arms or ammunition under a licence, may deliver the same to any other person who has produced to him a licence for the possession thereof or to a licensed auctioneer:
Provided that the person delivering the same forthwith returns his licence to the licensing authority or other proper officer, endorsed with a note containing the date of delivery and the name, address and description of the person to whom he has delivered the guns, arms or ammunition, or such other information as is prescribed.
(2)  A licensed auctioneer may sell any guns, arms or ammunition sent to him for sale but shall be governed by the rules made under this Act relating to licensed dealers in respect thereof, and shall within 24 hours of the receipt of any guns, arms or ammunition for sale report the receipt thereof with particulars of the guns, arms and ammunition and the name and address of the owner thereof to the licensing authority.
(3)  Any person who commits any act in contravention of this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $200.
Provision upon death or bankruptcy, etc., of licensee
14.—(1)  If a person licensed to import an explosive or any guns or arms dies or becomes bankrupt or becomes mentally incapable or otherwise disabled, the person carrying on the business of that licensee shall not be liable to any penalty or forfeiture for acting under the licence during such reasonable time as is necessary to allow him to make an application to the licensing authority for a new licence.
(2)  The second-mentioned person referred to in subsection (1) shall be deemed to be the holder of the licence for all purposes under this Act, and to be liable in the same way as if he were the original holder of the licence until a new licence is issued.
Guns, arms or explosives of which possession has become unlawful to be deposited at police station
15.—(1)  Any person, whose possession of guns, arms or explosives has become unlawful in consequence of the expiry, suspension or cancellation of a licence, shall without unnecessary delay deposit them at the nearest police station.
(2)  If the owner of any guns, arms or explosives so deposited does not, within 6 months from the date of deposit, produce a licence authorising him to possess them and apply for the delivery of them, the guns, arms or explosivesshall be forfeited to the Government.
(3)  Every person licensed to possess guns or arms under this Act and intending to leave Singapore for any period exceeding one month shall, unless he intends to export such guns or arms, before so leaving transfer them to some person authorised under section 13 to take delivery of them or deposit them for safe keeping at a police station.
(4)  The licensing authority may authorise in writing any police officer to search any house for any guns or arms which he has reason to believe have not been transferred or deposited as required by subsection (3).
[21/73]
Forfeiture of arms or explosives deposited with the licensing authority
16.  Any arms or explosives deposited with the licensing authority in accordance with the provisions of this Act or any rules made thereunder or any other written law for the time being in force shall, if not claimed by its owner or owners within 6 months from the date of the deposit, be forfeited to the Government.
[2/73]
[15A
Permit to land may be granted
17.—(1)  The licensing authority may, upon application by the master, owner or agent of any vessel or aircraft arriving or about to arrive at any port, grant a permit to that master, owner or agent authorising him to land any guns or arms consigned upon that vessel or aircraft to that port or for transhipment at that port.
(2)  The licensing authority may, upon application by the master, owner or agent of any vessel or aircraft arriving or about to arrive at any port, and having on board the vessel any guns or arms for transhipment at that port, grant to that master, owner or agent a permit to tranship the guns or arms.
(3)  That master, owner or agent shall thereupon cease to be liable to any prosecution for importing the guns or arms without a licence, but the granting of the permit shall not render any other person free from any prosecution for importing the guns or arms without a licence.
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Minister may authorise erection of magazines or establishment of hulks
18.  The Minister may, by writing under his hand, authorise the erection of such magazines or the establishment of such hulks as he considers necessary for the storage of Government explosives, or for the storage or safe custody of explosives belonging to other persons, and may, by writing under his hand, authorise the use of Government magazines or any portion thereof for the storage or safe custody of explosives belonging to other persons.
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