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PNP allays concerns on allowing civilians to own semi-auto rifles
PNP allays concerns on allowing civilians to own semi-auto rifles
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PNP allays concerns on allowing civilians to own semi-auto rifles
by Ada Pelonia06 March 2024
Photo courtesy of Pexels

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday, March 6, allayed the public’s concerns on allowing civilians’ ownership of semi-automatic rifles, stating that gun owners must still secure a permit to carry firearms outside of residence.

“Hindi basta-basta makakapagdala ng firearm ang sino man without the express authority ng PNP and other law enforcement agencies,” PNP Spokesperson Colonel Jean Fajardo told DZRH in an interview.

Fajardo explained that civilians may register and own small arms but with reservations in adherance with the Republic Act (RA) No. 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.

Under RA No. 10591, applicants can possess a firearm if they are a Filipino citizen at least 21 years old at the time of application, has filed an Income Tax Return, and submit the following requirements:

  • Clearance from any court “showing that he/she has not been convicted by final judgment of a crime involving moral turpitude or that he/she has not been convicted or is currently an accused in any pending criminal case before any court of law for a crime that is punishable with a penalty of more than two (2) years

  • Neuropsychiatric clearance issued by the PNP Health Service and its accredited psychologist or psychiatrist

  • Drug test clearance

  • Certificate showing that the applicant passed a gun safety and responsible gun ownership seminar

  • Obtaining the following supporting documents: National Police Clearance, NSO Birth Certificate, Proof of Latest Billing, two valid IDs, ITR, J9 Clearance (for Military Reservists), Certificate of Employment (for Overseas Filipino Workers), and retired order (for retired government employees)

“Malinaw po sa batas na ang pagdadala po ng baril ay dapat may permit to carry at hindi ka basta-basta mabibigyan ng permit to carry outside residence kung hindi ka magco-comply doon sa mga requirements,” Fajardo said.

Under the old Implementing Rules and Regulations, a permit to carry a firearm outside of residence will be issued by the PNP chief or an authorized representative if the person’s life is under threat or imminent danger because of their profession, occupation or business.

The new rule requires the permit to be renewed every four years “reckoned from the birthdate of the applicant, unless sooner revoked or suspended.”

Licensed sports shooters should also apply for a permit which allows them to transport registered firearms (maximum of three) to the firing range and competition sites. The permit to transport is valid for three months or longer.

“Kailangan humingi ng authority sa PNP in the absence of permit to carry firearms kung ikaw ay lalahok sa isang [sports] competition dahil kailangan mong kumuha ng permit to transport at dapat hindi po yan lalagpas ng tatlong firearms,” she added.

Small arms vs light arms

According to Fajardo, the PNP prohibits the possession of light weapons such as pistols, rifles, assault rifles, and machine guns to civilians.

“Itong light weapons ay hindi pwede sa sibilyan. Ito pong light weapon ay yung mga pistol, rifle, assault rifle, at machine gun na may capability ng full automatic discharge,” she said.

RA No. 10591 defines full automatic firearms as a firing mode “in which discharge of the entire magazine load with a single pull of its trigger is continuous until the triggering device is disengaged.”

Fajardo added that in the new rule, only semi-automatic guns which fire a bullet once per trigger pull are allowed for civilians to own.

“Yung sinasabi po natin ngayon na allowed na ang sibilyan na mag-posses po ng riple na 7.62 pababa na ang operation po nito ay semi-automatic,” she added.

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