Our fight against the oppressive firearms law and rules has now entered into a new phase. Phase 1 was the intial battle in the Supreme Court wherein PROGUN made a show of force and secured a temporary restraining order against the Philippine National Police ("PNP")and the implementation of anti-gun policies. Phase 2 just recently was concluded with the change in leadership within the PNP. Now, we are in Phase 3: which is a second petition in the Supreme Court for annulment of the License to Own and Possess Firearms ("LTOP") and the Implementing Rules and regulations of the oppressive firearms law RA 10591. Phase 4 is a long term fight in Congress and Senate to Amend RA 10591, which would have to wait till after 2016 when there is a change in this current anti-gun presidency and the political landscape.
PROGUN is challenging the LTOP requirement insofar as it is being applied retroactively by the PNP. Being a criminal law, RA 10591 should have only prospective application otherwise it runs afoul with Article 3 sec. 22 of the Constitution which prohibits Ex Post Facto. Simply stated, licensed gun owners who are already in possession of their firearms cannot be compelled to re-apply and re-qualify for a wholly new and more stringent firearms license, since their licenses were already legal and approved before. The same applies to licenses to deal, manufacture, and importation of firearms by entities licensed to engage in such activities.
Second, PROGUN is challenging the IRR as a whole since the PNP has gone oveboard and beyond what was stated in the law RA 10591. Moreover, the PNP has included a myriad of additional licenses, fees and impositions which are not contained in, nor authorized by, RA 10591. It is fundamental in administrative law and regulation that the administrative agency implenting the law must stick within the powers that were vested in the law.
Third, PROGUN is assailing the inclusion of penal provisions in the IRR. Again it is elementary in administrative law that only congress can define and impose a criminal penalty by law; administrative agencies such as the PNP have no jurisdiction to do so.
Fourth, PROGUN is challenging the validity of the IRR which was drafted behind closed doors by the PNP in violation of Sec. 44 of RA 10591 that mandates that the IRR must be drafted in consultation with concerned sectors.
This new petition to be filed with the Supreme Court before Christmas will cap off a steallar year for PROGUN in the fight for gun rights in the Philippines. We call upon all licensed and legitimate gun owners to rise up and support PROGUN in our quest for justice.