THE Philippine National Police leadership yesterday warned anew all licensed firearm holders not to bring them outside the confine of their homes without the necessary Permit to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence (PTCFOR) and other gun permits as the act is a major violation of the law.
In particular, the PNP headed by Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa asked licensed gunholders including politicians, businessmen, other VIPs and even ordinary citizens not to allow others to use or carry their licensed firearm since the practice is a major violation of the law that may prompt their disqualification from seeking public office.
In the past, PNP agents have monitored the presence of some elected officials including governors and mayors down to barangay captains who have ‘loaned’ their licensed firearms to their bodyguards. This old practice is now being closely checked by different PNP units following orders from Gen. dela Rosa.
The PNP chief emphasized that he wants the immediate revocation of the gun licenses and permits of persons facing criminal charges in court or having a major brush with the law to prevent them from using their weapons as instrument for renewed violence.
“We should be very strict when it comes to the implementation of the law on carrying of firearms. Thus, we should be able to immediately revoke the firearms’ licenses and permit-to-carry of any individual who will be transgressing the law,” he said. The PNP chief also asked the PNP Civil Security Group headed by Chief Superintendent Federico Dulay and the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office under Senior Supt. Cesar Hawthorne Binag to immediately act on official request for cancellation of firearms’ licenses and permits issued to law offenders particularly those used in the commission of a crime.
Last week, the PNP-FEO revoked the firearms’ licenses of Vhon Martin Tanto, the ex-Army reservist who is now in jail after shooting a biker named Mark Vincent Garalde in Quiapo, Manila following a traffic altercation that ended in a fistfight.
Guns of persons with revoked firearms licenses are automatically forfeited in favor of the government. Those who refuse to surrender them to the police will find themselves owning illegal firearms that will be subjected to search warrants for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013.
Police were ordered during the past election period to check the records of some candidates known for employing scores of security men with the PNP-FEO as part of the campaign to ensure a secure and orderly May 2015 election.
The records of guns being used by some security men of candidates known to be maintaining partisan armed groups are also being doubly checked to ensure that they are not loose weapons, officials said.
Under the law, all PNP Firearms Licenses and PTCFORs are non-transferrable and violation of such condition will automatically mean the revocation of the gun permits.
PNP Memorandum Circular No. 2011-005 rationalized policies on the possession, bearing and carrying of firearms on January 16, 2011.
The memorandum required a more stringent set of conditions for the possession of firearms and the carrying of firearms outside of residence in the aftermath of the 1st National Summit on Firearms Control spearheaded by the PNP to confront the problem on the presence of loose firearms.
The memorandum states only Filipino citizens who have the authority to possess firearm/s must file the necessary application for license/s of procured firearm/s of any type and/or caliber provided that such firearms are not classified as Crew-Served Weapons, Light Anti-Tank Weapon, Light Machine Guns, anti-tank and anti-personnel recoilless rifles, bazookas and the like.
Civilians and law enforcement agencies issued PTCFOR are barred from displaying the firearm.
The PTCFOR is also non-transferrable; the firearm shall not be brought inside places of worship, public drinking and amusement places and all other commercial or public establishment; the PTCFOR must be carried together with the valid firearm license/Mission Order/Memorandum Receipt; and expired, revoked, cancelled or nullified firearms’ licenses will automatically invalidate the corresponding PTCFOR.
Any person who violates the conditions in the carrying of firearms particularly displaying it in public view while in civilian attire is required to show his PTCFOR and license before a law enforcer who requests presentation of such documents.