MANILA – The Philippine National Police-Firearms and Explosives Office (PNP-FEO) revoked 41 licenses to own and possess firearms (LTOPF) for various violations and seized the 201 firearms registered under the licenses in 2022.
The grounds for revocation include involvement of the owners in violations like illegal drugs, illegal gambling, commission or pendency of a crime involving firearms and ammunition, prolonged non-renewal of a firearms license, illegal or unlawful transfer of firearms, violation of the election gun ban, revoked by order of the court and misrepresentation or submission of spurious supporting documents.
An LTOPF may also be taken back because of conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude or any offense where the penalty carries an imprisonment of more than six years; loss of the firearm, ammunition, or any parts thereof through negligence; carrying of the firearm, ammunition, or major parts thereof outside of residence or workplace without the proper permit or in prohibited places; dismissal for cause from the service in case of government official and employee; and noncompliance with reportorial requirements.
"We will not tolerate the abuse of firearms by those who are involved in nefarious activities. These revocations send a clear message that we will take action against those who use or possess firearms illegally," Col. Kenneth Lucas, PNP-FEO chief, said in a news release posted on Facebook on Sunday.
Lucas said of the 187 cases filed, 31 firearms owners were linked to illegal drugs.
In the last four years, the PNP had revoked 240 LTOPF and seized 684 registered firearms.
Under Republic Act 10591, or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, an LTOPF is granted to an applicant who has passed the psychiatric test administered by a PNP-accredited psychologist or psychiatrist; passed the drug test by an accredited and authorized drug testing laboratory or clinic; passed a gun safety seminar which is administered by the PNP or a registered and authorized gun club; filed in writing the application to possess a registered firearm which shall state the personal circumstances of the applicant; presented a police clearance from the city or municipality police office; and never been convicted or is currently an accused in a pending criminal case before any court of law for a crime that is punishable with a penalty of more than two years.
An individual may own between two and 15 firearms while a certified gun collector may be allowed to register more than 15.
Professionals considered to be in imminent danger due to the nature of their profession, occupation or business and may be given an LTOPF include members of the Philippine Bar; Certified Public Accountants; accredited media practitioners; cashiers and bank tellers; priests, ministers, rabbi or imams; physicians and nurses; engineers; and businessmen who are high risk of being targets of criminals.
A juridical person maintaining a security force may be issued an LTOPF provided the firm is Filipino-owned and duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission; current, operational and a continuing concern; has completed and submitted all reportorial requirements to the SEC; and has paid all income taxes for the year, as duly certified by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Violations may result in imprisonment of six to 40 years.
Lucas warned gun owners anew that failure to comply with laws and regulations will result in the revocation of their licenses and filing of criminal cases.
"You are responsible for the safe and proper use of your firearms, and any violation of the law will result in the revocation of your license," he said. "We will not tolerate the abuse of firearms by those who are involved in nefarious activities." (With a report from Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)