Airguns and Airsoft guns now excluded from definition of "Firearms" Under New Law RA 10591
The definition of "Firearm" under the new law RA 10591 is expressly defined in Art. 3 (L) which states: (l) Firearm refers to any handheld or portable weapon, whether a small arm or light weapon, that expels or is designed to expel a bullet, shot, slug, missile or any projectile, which is discharged by means of expansive force of gases from burning gunpowder or other form of combustion or any similar instrument or implement. For purposes of this Act, the barrel, frame or receiver is considered a firearm." Clearly, airguns and airsoft guns which are powered by spring air are no longer included in the definition of "firearm" under the law.
This has far reaching legal effects.
The first legal effect is that the PNP no longer possesses any power or jurisdiction to regulate or register any airgun or airsoft gun. The power of the PNP to regulate and register airguns and airsoft guns emanted from the old Law PD 1866 as amended, which has now been repealed by Sec. 45 of RA 10591 which states that: "SEC. 45. Repealing Clause. – This Act repeals Sections 1, 2, 5 and 7 of Presidential Decree No. 1866, as amended, and Section 6 of Republic Act No. 8294 and all other laws, executive orders, letters of instruction, issuances, circulars, administrative orders, rules or regulations that are inconsistent herewith."
Thus this new RA 10591 effectively repeals by implication EO No. 712 on regulation of airguns and the PNP rules dated January 1992 on registration of airguns, as well as The PNP Order No. 12 series 2008 on airsoft guns.
The second legal implication of the exclusion of airsoft and airguns from the definition of "firearm" under RA 10591, is that these guns are no longer entitled to be included in the comelec gun ban. Under the Omnibus election Code, comelec can only include in its gun ban "firearms and deadly weapons." Now since airguns and airsoft guns are not "firearms" as defined by law, and certaily they are not "deadly weapons", then airsoft guns and airguns are now excluded from the comelec gun ban.