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PNP-FEO holds 22,000 firearms with delinquent licenses

  • Written by Alfred P. Dalizon
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 4269

WITH a new law making the failure of a licensed firearms holder to renew the license on or before its expiration now in full effect, more than 22,000 guns with either delinquent registration papers or those considered as ‘unserviceable’ have already been turned over to the Philippine National Police Firearms and Explosives Office, the PNP-FEO director said yesterday.
   
PNP-FEO director, Senior Superintendent Elmo Francis O. Sarona, a lawyer from Philippine Military Academy Class 1986, said under Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013, failure to renew the firearm license on or before its expiration is an automatic ground for the revocation of the license and the eventual confiscation of the weapon.
   
RA 10591 also requires gunholders to get a License to Own and Possess Firearms or LTOFP before renewing his gun registration or buying a new firearm. LTOFP necessarily includes the license to possess ammunition appropriate to the registered firearm which shall not exceed 50 rounds per firearm at any given time.
   
In a report to PNP officer-in-charge, Deputy Director General Leonardo A. Espina, Sarona said the more than 22,000 firearms with delinquent registration papers or those considered as ‘unserviceable’ have been turned over to their office  for safekeeping by their respective owners/possessors.
   
The weapons include 14,987 assorted short and long firearms which are subjects of resolved court cases or those ‘unserviceable’ and belonging to different government juridical entities, he explained.
   
The others are 5,275 assorted short firearms and 2,076 various long firearms belonging to licensed gun-holders and the Philippine Shooting Association which could be released anytime to their respective owners as soon as they have complied with all requirements under RA 10591,  he said in a similar report to PNP Civil Security Group director, Chief Supt. Elmer R. Soria.
   
“These firearms will be deposited in our storage room complete with 24/7 surveillance camera systems and guards,” Sarona said.
   
The official said that the 5,956 firearms were temporarily deposited to the PNP-FEO and could be released to their owners as soon as requirements from the FEO and the PNP Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies headed by Chief Supt. Noel G. Constantino are completed.
   
Sarona  told PNP OIC  Espina that they have also established a 24/7 firearm verification with their Records Section that would be of major help to all police units investigating a gun-related offense.
   
“This will enable all police regional offices and other operating units of the PNP to have easy access and immediate system of verifying status of firearms that they have confiscated or otherwise under investigation,” he said. The PNP-FEO hotline number for gun inquiry is 09082301132. Questions can also be relayed thru This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
   
RA 10591 also requires a licensed citizen to secure first a sports shooter’s license before being allowed to possess ammunition more than the prescribed quantity. Only licensed sports shooters shall be allowed to possess ammunition of more than 50 rounds, he added.
   
The Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 10591 says that all types of licenses to own/possess a firearm shall be renewed every two years within six  months before the birth date of the licensee.  Failure to renew the license on or before the birth date shall cause the revocation of the license and of the registration of the firearm/s under said license.
   
The registration of the firearm shall be renewed every four  years within six months before its expiration. Failure to renew the registration of the firearm on or before the expiration of its registration shall cause the revocation of the registration of the firearm and the same shall be subject to revocation proceedings. 
   
Failure to renew a license or registration within the period stated above on two  occasions shall cause the holder of the firearm to be perpetually disqualified from applying for firearm license.
   
In meritorious cases however, the PNP chief as recommended by the chief of the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office may allow the further enjoyment of the privilege under these rules subject to certain conditions which may be deemed appropriate to impose.
  
The new gun law is seeing to it that licensed firearm holders will be required to register their weapons on time since any violation will result to automatic revocation of the license and the filing of criminal charges against the possessors for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, Sarona said.
   
“This will help us effectively reduce the presence of illegal guns in the streets and prevent them from being used as a tool in committing any crime,” he added.
   
RA 10591 also makes the carrying of licensed firearms in the streets without any Permit to Carry Firearm Outside of Residence an offense punishable by a maximum of six years in jail plus a P10,000 fine, Sarona said.