See news item below….
Another shot fired in the direction of our already-limited FA privileges. Of course it will be argued that the bill aims only against criminals and loose firearms. Fine, but looking at the track record of our authorities, we the law-abiding and our rights are the most affected and not just collateral damage, while the declared targets go scot-free.
(Quote) “Unlicensed firearms found in a vehicle, building or any other place shall constitute presumptive evidence”. It is illogical to presume that every person who owns a loose firearm is a criminal. Imagine. Citing the statistics that , out of 1.1 million loose firearms 5,999 were used in 5,752 crime incidents in 2008, that represents only one half of one percent! Therefore statistically insignificant. That throws out the argument that more “loose firearms = more crime”
The underlying issue behind the loose firearms problem is one of trust. People who own guns believe that the PNP/Government is out to get their guns, no thanks to the UN and its hidden masters in its efforts to disarm private citizens. Amnesty programs are just designed to “find out who’s got what” as we have experienced in 1971-73.
It would have been more logical to enact laws that will guarantee the right to keep and bear licensed firearms by law abiding citizens. Instead of tighter penalties for so called illegal possession, let there be harsh punishment for those who commit acts against man and properties with the uses of firearms, whether legal or not. Impose harsher laws of the perpetuator is a public official. Only then will people avail of the amnesties and only then we can make progress on the loose firearms problem. A hassle-free licensing process and lower, more stable license fees will help.
The question now: “Will we oppose this onerous bill, or are we going to be fence sitters?
Gov’t faces tough task in locating more than 1.1M loose firearms
By Michael Lim Ubac
September 26, 2010
There are about 1,110,372 loose firearms nationwide, said ex-Senator and now Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo Biazon, who is seeking stiffer penalties for illegal firearm possession.
With the gun ban in effect, PNP spokesperson Senior Supt. Agrimero Cruz said only authorized law enforcement personnel in their proper uniforms would be allowed to bring their firearms in public.
The same prohibition applies to active members of the military, said Cruz, adding that all permits to carry firearms issued to private individuals outside of residences will be suspended.
The gun ban lasts until Nov. 10.
Biazon recently filed House Bill No. 12, which seeks the imposition of stiffer penalties for illegal possession of firearms “to address the rising criminality and increased violence posed by unlicensed firearms.”
Citing official reports, Biazon said there are over a million loose firearms nationwide.
The former armed forces chief of staff turned lawmaker said most of these firearms “are in the hands of private armies and criminals.”
In calling for the immediate approval of his proposed measure, Biazon also cited data from the Philippine National Police (PNP) showing that at least 5,999 loose firearms were used in 5,752 criminal activities in 2008 alone.
Of an estimated 1.1 million loose firearms, the biggest concentrations are said to be in Metro Manila (315,128 guns, including 263,457 with expired licenses) and in Mindanao (over 120,000 in the hands of the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and criminal elements.
Citing reports by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies (GIIS), Biazon said the loose firearms, which are in the hands of the private armies and criminals, were four times more than the combined strength of 250,000 of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the PNP.
Biazon, chair of the House committee on national defense and security, and vice chair of the House committee on public order and safety, is slated to conduct public hearings on the bill.
Biazon’s bill provides for a maximum penalty of six to 12 years imprisonment for violations committed by public officials.
Unlicensed firearms found in a vehicle, building or any other place shall constitute presumptive evidence, the bill says.
A crime using a light weapon shall be considered an aggravating circumstance with a penalty of more than six years and one day imprisonment, says the bill.