PNP chief orders tight watch on gun purchases

PNP chief orders tight watch on gun purchases
By Jaime Laude The Philippine Star Updated April 22, 2012 12:00 AM 2 comments to this post 

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome has directed the Firearms and Explosive Division (FED) to closely monitor the procurement of firearms by civilians.

“I want all gun procurements monitored and scrutinized closely,” Bartolome ordered the FED following several reports that high-powered firearms can be procured by civilians with the corresponding licenses from gun dealers if the price is right.

Bartolome issued the directive in line with the PNP’s ongoing campaign against private armed groups (PAGs), which he said could be beefing up their arsenal for their prospective politician clients in time for the 2013 midterm elections.

In a related development, the PNP chief said the police will look closely at gun owners with expired licenses in an effort to cut down the number of loose firearms in the country. An estimated 800,000 to one million guns of various types are known to be loose in the Philippines.

He said gun holders with expired licenses will be sent a notice. After a period of time, police officials who have jurisdiction over the gun holders will visit them to inform them of their oversight.

“And if nothing else happens from these notices, their firearms will be declared loose and appropriate actions now can be taken against them,” Bartolome said.

He said delinquent gun owners could be denied police clearance certificates and their weapons could be confiscated.