Satellite offices for gun licensing to reopen end-April

Bea Cupin
Satellite offices for gun licensing to reopen end-April
The Supreme Court issues a temporary restraining order on the Philippine National Police's policy centralizing gun licensing services in Camp Crame

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) will reopen its licensing offices in the provinces, following a Supreme Court (SC) order to temporarily stop the centralization of the process at the national headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

By the end of April, personnel will be sent back to the satellite offices of the Civil Security Group (CSG), the office assigned to process firearms permits in the country.

During a press conference on Friday, April 11, CSG director Chief Superintendent Melito Mabilin said the satellite offices will be re-opened “within the month.”

PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima officially received the text of the SC’s temporary restraining order (TRO) on Friday at 10:40 am. Mabilin said they were already working on regrouping and assessing the deployment of personnel back to the satellite offices.

Almost a month ago, Purisima ordered the shutdown of satellite offices following the implementation of a new gun licensing system. During one press conference, Purisima explained to reporters that anomalies abound in the satellite offices, prompting police to “centralize” licensing at Camp Crame.

On April 8, however, the SC issued a TRO, after gun owners filed petitions questioning Republic Act 10591 or the Firearms Law,  and the PNP’s new policies.

The TRO put a halt to the “centralization” of license application, the use of couriers in delivering licenses to gun owners, and the enforcement of one section in the law and the Implementing Rules and Regulations that require those with 10 or more guns to consent to the PNP’s “inspection requirements.”

The PNP has 10 days to defend its position before the Supreme Court.

Policies still stand

Despite the TRO, Firearms and Explosives Office head Chief Superintendent Louie Oppus said the PNP will continue to implement its policies when processing applications – those with incomplete requirements won’t be processed.

RA 10591 requires would-be gun owners to apply for two licenses: a license to own and posses firearms and a separate registration for the firearm itself. Licenses to own are renewed every two years, while guns have to be registered every 4 years.

The move to “centralize” licensing and registration was met with criticism by gun owners and advocates. Requiring personal appearances at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, they said, put undue burden on responsible gun owners.

In a statement, Mabilin explained that “centralization” “is not by design and, more importantly, it is temporary.”

The PNP’s eventual plan, Oppus and Mabilin said, is to digitize the entire licensing process. Eventually, they said, gun owners would not have to make personal appearances but go through the entire process through the Internet.

Oppus, meanwhile, addressed allegations that Article 3, Section 9, of the law and Section 9.6 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations, which obliges gun owners to sign a waiver allowing the PNP to inspect their dwellings and homes, was violating their rights. Oppus said the PNP was merely enforcing RA 10591. 

“Gun ownership is a privilege, it’s not a right. Hindi naman na basta-basta lang kami papasok, that’s what the law is saying,” he told reporters after the press conference. (We won’t just barge into their houses, that’s why they sign a waiver.) –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.


Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.