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Comelec sets gun ban guidelines

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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday released guidelines for the carrying and transporting of firearms and other deadly weapons, ahead of the May 2019 midterm elections.

Pursuant to Comelec Resolution 10446, the poll body has set the election period from 13 January 2019 up to 12 June 2019, during which the ban on carrying and transporting of firearms outside of residence will take full effect.

Violators will be charged under the provisions of Omnibus Election Code and face the penalty of one to six years imprisonment with no possibility of probation, disqualification from holding public office and deprivation of right to suffrage.

Those who want to be exempted should apply for the appropriate certificate of authority (CA) at the Comelec through the committee on the ban on firearms and security personnel.

Jimenez said imposing a gun ban ahead of the election period would help prevent a bloody midterm polls.

Application forms and requirements for the issuance of a CA must be submitted to the CBFSP office at the main office from 1 December 2018, until 29 May 2019.

Unless properly covered by a CA, any permit to carry firearms outside one’s residence or place of business will be ineffective and without force and effect during the election period.

Likewise, during the election period it is prohibited to employ, avail or engage the services of security personnel or bodyguards without appropriate permit from the poll body.

To recall, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez was quoted as saying a few months ago that a nationwide gun ban may be imposed earlier amid the spate of killings of local government officials.

Jimenez said imposing a gun ban ahead of the election period would help prevent a bloody midterm polls.

Jimenez said if necessary, the Comelec could draft and recommend the early imposition of the gun ban in connection with next year’s elections.

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