With rising crime, banks emerge as biggest buyers of civilian guns..

Interesting article in ET on the subject.

With rising bank-related crimes in cities, Banks have emerged as the biggest buyers of guns.

Banks, especially public sector and co-operative banks, have become the unlikely leading buyers of civilian firearms owing to rising crime against their property and an acute shortage of armed guards.

Banks have been ‘priority recipients’ of gun licences over the past three years, according to data sourced from top police commissionerates. Police departments in cities such as Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru have been issuing up to 20 gun licences to banks every year, according to data sourced from top police commissionerates. Police departments in cities such as Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru have been issuing up to 20 gun licences to banks every year, accounting for nearly 50 per cent of the new permits issued by city commissionerates annually.

Why not just hire security guards instead? Well, first there is shortage of trained guards. Second, more interestingly due to change in regulations, banks (and other such firms) have to buy these arms themselves. One just can’t appoint armed guards. Get a guard and give him/her your gun.

Before the rule, individuals could buy such arms and look to armed guards as a job. Now even security companies could not hire such people. They had to first get gun licences and then look for people who could use these guns. This has led to serious crunch in number of armed guards as well.

The licences also take time to come and the overall process has led to worries over bank security.

Interesting bit. Tells you a lot about labour markets and how regulation shapes/restricts them..

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