PNP urges gun owners to get licenses

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Friday, July 25, 2014

THE Police Regional Office in Northern Mindanao (PRO-10) is urging owners of unlicensed and yet to be renewed guns to register their firearms to avoid penalties in violation of the Republic Act 10561 or the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition.

Senior Superintendent Leony Ga, PRO-10's Regional Operations and Plans Division (ROPD) chief, said stiffer penalties for unlawful acquisition and possession of small and light weapons will be imposed.

Illegal possession of firearms violation imposes eight years to life imprisonment.


Loose firearms

According to PRO-10's data, the region confiscated or recovered 602 loose firearms, arrested 395 illegal gun owners, and filed 284 cases against RA 10561violators.

Under Section 43 of the firearms and ammunition law, as the Final General Amnesty (FGA) starts this month, the law allows owners of unlicensed and unrenewed guns to apply for license without being charged of any delinquent payment.

"The amnesty will allow individuals with unlicensed firearms to have their guns documented and registered with the Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO), said Ga in a conference Thursday morning.

Ga said the applicants must submit their applications for processing for License to Own and Possess Firearms (LTOPF) which will make them eligible for firearms amnesty.

Reduction of crimes

Under the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 10591, the PNP is mandated to implement the FGA within six months from promulgation of the IRR which was promulgated and signed by PNP Chief General Alan La Madrid Purisima on January this year.

Authorities believe this program will mitigate, if not fully eliminate, the surge of crime rates.

Ga said the gun amnesty is meant to account for all the loose firearms in the region, which authorities believe are being used by criminals.

Fake license

Before RA 10591 was enacted, the PNP-FEO central office had been conducting “Oplan Katok” nationwide. Oplan Katok is a PNP campaign to account for or recover loose firearms previously registered but were not renewed or updated by the owners.

Under “Oplan Katok,” authorities visited at least 524,000 gun holders since December 2012.

Of the number, 129,210 used fictitious addresses and could not be located.

Based on records, there are some 1.6 million licensed guns nationwide.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 25, 2014.

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