PNP gets tough on gun licensing
Current FEO records showed there are at least 4.12 million registered firearms while around 1.7 million are considered loose guns
The Philippine National Police has revoked 240 licenses and confiscated 684 firearms in the past four years, as part of intensified crime prevention and renewed effort to promote the responsible use of guns.
“These revocations send a clear message that we will take action against those who use or possess firearms illegally,” Col. Kenneth Lucas, PNP Firearms and Explosive Office chief said.
In 2022 alone, the PNP revoked 41 licenses involving 201 firearms.
In a PNP Facebook post on Sunday, Lucas said out of the 187 cases filed last year, 31 involved firearms owners linked to illegal drugs.
“We will not tolerate the abuse of firearms by those who are involved in nefarious activities,” he said.
Lucas, in an earlier radio interview, said current FEO records showed there are at least 4.12 million registered firearms while around 1.7 million are considered loose guns.
A loose gun refers to an unregistered firearm, an obliterated or altered firearm. It could also be a firearm that has been lost or stolen, illegally manufactured firearms, registered firearms in the possession of an individual other than the licensee, and those with revoked licenses by the rules and regulations.
He said among the grounds for license revocation include involvement of the gun owners in any violation of laws such as illegal drugs, illegal gambling, commission or pendency of a crime involving firearms and ammunition, prolonged non-renewal of a firearms license, illegal or unlawful transfer of firearms, and violation of the election gun ban.
Licenses can also be revoked on orders of the court, and misrepresentation or submission of spurious supporting documents.
Lucas urged licensed gun owners to follow the policies on owning and using firearms.
He warned that failure to comply with laws and regulations will result in the revocation of their licenses and the filing of appropriate criminal cases against gun owners.
Violations may result in imprisonment of six to 40 years.
“You are responsible for the safe and proper use of your firearms, and any violation of the law will result in the revocation of your license,” Lucas said.
“The PNP’s strict enforcement of the law and commitment to promoting responsible gun ownership serves as a reminder that the illegal use or possession of firearms and involvement in any unlawful activities will not be tolerated,” he said.
Under Republic Act 10591, an applicant will only be granted a license to operate and possess firearms if he or she passed the following qualifications: the psychiatric test administered by a PNP-accredited psychologist or psychiatrist; the drug test by an accredited and authorized drug testing laboratory or clinic; a gun safety seminar which is administered by the PNP or a registered and authorized gun club.
Applicants are required to present a police clearance from the city or municipality police office, and have never been convicted or are currently accused in a pending criminal case before any court of law for a crime that is punishable with a penalty of more than two years.
The law also allows individuals to own between two to 15 firearms while a certified gun collector may be allowed to register more than 15.
Professionals considered to be in imminent danger due to the nature of their profession, occupation, or business may be given an LTOPF.
These include members of the Philippine Bar; certified public accountants; accredited media practitioners; cashiers and bank tellers; priests, ministers, rabbis or imams; physicians and nurses; engineers; and businessmen who are at high risk of being targets of criminals.
The registration of a firearm, the PNP said, shall be renewed every four years.
Gun owners who failed to renew the registration of their firearm on or before the date of expiration shall cause the revocation of the gun’s license.
It could be considered as a loose firearm that shall be confiscated or forfeited in favor of the government after due process.
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