No gun ban extension – PNP

Article posted June 06, 2010 – 01:27 AM
The nationwide gun ban will be lifted on June 9, and stricter measures on gun control will be put in place instead of extending the gun ban’s effectivity, the Philippine National Police (PNP) announced Friday.

The policy was announced during the PNP’s second gun summit in Camp Crame on Friday, where participants conceded to just supporting stricter measures on firearms control.

“There will be no gun ban extension. The policies on carrying guns before the election period will be reinstated,” said PNP chief Director General Jesus Verzosa.

The gun ban went into effect on January 10, after the Commission on Elections ordered it in place as part of implementing election law as applied to the recent May 10 polls.

Nearly 3,000 individuals, including some 200 government employees, have been apprehended during the period.

Some 300 representatives from various sectors who were present in the summit were unable to come to a general agreement on whether the gun ban should be extended or not.

Summit participants finally agreed to the lifting of the ban if stricter measures on gun ownership will be enforced.

The proposed stricter gun policies include limiting the security details for politicians and VIPs (Very Important Persons), and stricter requirements for those who are seeking a Permit to Carry Firearms Outside Residence (PTCFOR).

“They also agreed to support our proposal for stricter penalties for those who will be caught possessing unlicensed firearms or guns with expired licenses,” Verzosa added.

A post-gun summit will likewise be held next week, where the proposals for stricter gun control will be finalized.

Some sectors, including the PNP itself, earlier called for an extension in the effectivity of the gun ban, citing the reported decrease in the incidence of crime.

Earlier in the summit, the PNP presented a survey it commissioned which showed majority of Metro Manila residents want the gun ban extended.

Based on the survey, 73.8 percent of the 400 respondents from the National Capital Region (NCR) believe the total gun ban should remain in force after June 9.

The NCR survey is part of the ongoing nationwide study targeted to involve 4,400 respondents, the results of which are set to be released mid-June.

The survey likewise showed that 81.5 percent of the respondents agreed that police checkpoints should remain in place even after elections, as majority of the respondents believe it resulted in the reduction of the incidence of crime.

PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina earlier said the police agency is holding a stakeholders’ summit to tackle proposals for “responsible gun ownership” by civilians.

But presidential front-runner Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, who practices target shooting himself as a hobby, expressed apprehensions on the total gun ban.

“It’s a nice imagery for you to say total gun ban, where nobody has guns, but there is a fine print: Nobody who follows the laws will have guns,” Aquino said.—JMA/JV, GMANews.TV

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