PNP Holds Consultation Dialogue Forum on Improving Firearms Licensing Process
Last 6 April 2015, the Philippine National Police (PNP), led by its Civil Service Group held a public discussion forum at the PNP general headquarters at Camp Crame, Quezon City. The forum led by PNP-CSG Commander Gen. Melito Mabilin and Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) Col. Dennis Siervo, was for the "streamlining" of the licensing process for firearms. As stated in the forum, the "marching orders" given to the CSG and FEO were to "make life easier for licensed firearms owners". WIth this in mind, the streamling process for obtaining a License to Own and Possess Firearms or LTOP has been made easier as follows:
1. Court and Prosecutor's clearance shall no longer be required. Instead, the spplicant shall obtain an NBI Clearance. This is because the NBI record is nationwide and more encompassing than the court clearance which is just for a specific city or municipality where the applicant lives.
2. Drug and Neuro Psych testing shall be expanded to include more government and private testing centers (not just PNP accredited)
3. Number of copies of Forms shall be only two: one for the PNP and one for the applicant.
4. The time to process the LTOP from filing to approval shall take only 40 minutes. This is due to the computer system that forwards the application from initial evaluation directly to the Chief for approval and signature electronically.
5. Firearms safety seminar shall be expanded to include not just gun clubs but also individual qualified firearms instructors who may administer the seminar.
6. Holders of expired firearms licenses shall be allowed to apply for and obtain an LTOP.
7. General Amnesty shall be implemented.
The foregoing were submitted to PNP OIC Gen Leonardo Espina for approval and implementation.
Col. Siervo said that consultative ongoing dialogues between the PNP and stakeholders would be held every two weeks, in which NGOs such as PROGUN would be welcome to attend.
Present at the discussion forum were all major stakeholders, firearms dealers, gun clubs, and organizations as well as interested responsible gun owners.