Philippine Senate Conducts hearing for review of RA 10591
Today, the Philippine Senate Committee on Public Order and Illegal Drugs held a hearing for review of RA 10591, or ther Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act. This controversial new law which was passed last year, has come under heavy fire from the Philippines firearms community for being excessively harsh and burdensome upon the Legitimate gun owners. Its Implementing Rules and Regulations which were passed by the Philippine National Police last January likewise created a major stir within the community for being anti-gun. As a result of these complaints by gun owners, The Senate Committee summoned the leadership of the Philippine National Police to question them and to explain why the implementation of the law was so controversial and objected to by gun owners.
Committee Chair Sen. Grace Poe, called for a dialogue and technical working Group between gun owners and the PNP for suggestions and comments from the gun community to be heard, and for amendments to the IRR. Sen. Poe also questioned the PNP as to why a copy of the IRR had no been filed and/or furnished to the Senate. Sen. Tito Sotto interpolated Progun as to the petition that was filed in the Supreme Court and the Temporary restraining order that was issued by the court against the PNP. Sen. JV Ejercito stated why licensed gun owners were being targeted and why not criminals who were wielding loose and unregistered firearms.
But the gravest tirade came from Sn. Bong Bong Marcos who scolded the PNP as to why they were making it difficult for legitimate gun owners to use and register their firearms in sports and competition. Sen. Marcos, a founder of the Philippine Practical Shooting Association (PPSA) and long time shooter and supporter of the gun sports in the Philippines, made it clear to the PNP that the licensed gun owners are not the problem since less than 1% of crimes committed using firearms in the country were committed using licensed firearms. Sen. Marcos further stated that the PNP should make it easier rather than more difficult for gun owners to license and carry their firearms. Sen. Marcos also praised Philippine shooters for regularly garnering the top slots in all Practical Pistol competitions abroad, and that we should preserve and encourage our heritage.
Due to lack of material time, no other guests and resource persons were allowed to speak, but the Committee Chair directed World Champion and AFAD President Jethro Dionisio to form a civilian dialogue group which would work with the PNP under the auspices of the Senate Committee, which would mediate, for amendment and streamlining of the IRR of RA 10591. Further, notices would be sent out once the technical working group was formed. As of tonight Jethro Dionisio informed Progun that it will be part of this Senate technical working group.