Aquino signs comprehensive gun law
MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III signed a new law to improve the standards and prerequisites that need to be in place to acquire a gun license.
The law, known as Republic Act 10591, or "An Act Providing for Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition and Providing Penalties for Violations Thereof," was signed on May 29, with the palace announcement released Saturday, June 1.
According to the new law, applicants for a Philippine gun license must be Philippine citizens. They must also be at least 21 years old and have gained full work occupatiion or have filed an income tax return for the preceding year.
The applicant must also not have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude and pass a psychiatric test given by a Philippine National Police (PNP) accredited psychologist or psychiatrist. Applicants must also be screened for drugs by an accredited and authorized drug testing laboratory or clinic.
When filing for the gun license, the announcement notes that applicants have to file a written application to possess a firearm, "indicating the personal circumstances why he or she needs to own a firearm." Gun license applicants also have to take a gun safety seminar "administered by the PNP or a registered or authorized gun club," as well as acquire police clearance to own a gun, paying the necessary gun licensing fees along the way.
Gun owners who want a permit to carry (PTC) also need to go through another process for their PTC. They must first be qualified as being "under actual threat or is in imminent danger due to the nature of his or her profession, occupation or business." Such professionals include "members of the Philippine Bar, certified public accountants (CPA), accredited media practitioners, cashiers, bank tellers, priests,ministers, rabbis and imams, physicians, nurses, and engineers," with an additional mention made for businessmen, "who by nature of their business or undertaking, are exposed to the high risk of being targets of criminal elements."
Section 10 of the Republic Act 10591 also takes into account what kinds of firearms can be used by certain types of people,. For example small firearms may be registered by licensed citizens or licensed juridical entities, but only the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other law enforcement agencies can use and acquire light weapons, and all these must be registered at the PNP.
Sports shooters, gun and ammo makers and smiths, and gun stores, must also apply for licenses particular to them, such as a license to deal guns for gun stores and a license to repair registered arms for gunsmiths.
Licenses must also be renewed every two years on or before the expiration date. Failure to renew licenses will result in the revocation of the license and confiscation of the firearm.
Republic Act 10591 will take effect 15 days from its publication in a newspaper of nationwide circulation. - Rappler.com
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