(File photo)

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday reminded police officers and soldiers to set a good example to civilians in terms of firearms ownership through the regular renewal of their gun licenses.

PNP director for operations Brig. Gen. Leo Francisco made this call, noting that nearly 19,000 out of a total of 539,000 firearms with unrenewed licenses belong to police and military personnel.

“As of May 26, 2023, the total (number) of unrenewed firearms was around 539,000. Out of this, 9,700 (belong to the) police, and 9,200 are from military personnel. We have a total of 1.15 million valid firearms license holders," Francisco said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

He said firearms with valid but unrenewed licenses are considered loose firearms.

“I think we have to start telling our commanders to check on their personnel to renew their firearms. Our focus now is for the PNP and AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) personnel first to renew their unrenewed firearms so that we become a role model and encourage civilian firearm license holders to follow suit,” Francisco said.

From Jan. 1 to May 26, the PNP confiscated 11,417 loose firearms from 3,599 persons arrested for possession of these illegal firearms.

During the same period, police units received 6,513 firearms for safekeeping and filed 1,783 cases in court. (PNA)