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Drilon files bill seeking to regulate carrying of firearms

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A measure seeking to regulate the carrying of firearms has been filed in the Senate, a move to address the increasing incidence of violence and crime in the country where the main weapon used to perpetrate the misdeed is a firearm.

Senator Franklin Drilon filed Senate Bill No. 129 titled "Firearms Regulation Act" which mandates that the carrying of firearms shall be authorized only for those directly engaged in military, police and law enforcement functions.

”It is high time that Congress should pass a law that regulates the use of firearms because the growing incidence of violence in the country is very alarming,” Drilon said.

While the proposed law does not intend to prohibit ownership and possession of licensed firearms, it limits the circumstances under which a private individual may take his firearm outside of his residence.

Under the measure, no permit to carry firearms shall be issued to any person except members of the Armed Forces and the police, agents or officers of the National Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Investigation Service, Narcotics Command, Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces, Sheriff’s Offices of various courts and other law enforcement agencies and regular agents or personnel of duly-licensed private security agencies or security forces of state agencies.

Any holder of a permit for a firearm shall carry the firearm covered by the said permit when he is in full uniform and engaged in the actual performance of his duty.

In the absence of a valid permit to carry firearms, it shall be unlawful for any person to carry the firearm, even if licensed, anywhere outside his camp, station, residence or sports facility.

No permit to carry shall be issued, however, to any temporary or confidential agents or informers of the military, police or any law enforcement agency.

Likewise, no permit shall be issued to any person as a tool of any sport, game, sporting event or sports-related activity unless the applicant for the same is a regular member in good standing of a licensed and government-accredited shooting club and executes a verified undertaking to keep the firearm covered by permit only in his residence, office or sports facility.

Violators shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than six years and one day nor more than 10 years and a fine of not less than P20,000 nor more than P100,000.

By Jelly F. Musico-PNA




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