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Walang palalampasin! NCRPO steps up campaign vs. loose firearms

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National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, Director Guillermo Eleazar has ordered to intensify the campaign against loose firearms and gunrunners to significantly reduce cases of indiscriminate firing in Metro Manila as well as in anticipation of next year’s mid-term elections.

Eleazar earlier reiterated his instructions to intensify “Oplan Katok” operations “to let the people feel that we are dead serious” in our campaign to rid society of illegal firearms and instruments of crime.

“Ito kasi papalapit na yung ating eleksyon kaya pinaigting natin ang ating campaign against loose firearms, kaya nga meron tayong Oplan Katok na ang ating mga kapulisan ay umiikot para puntahan yung mga may-ari ng expired na licensed na mga baril para i-surrender nila at matulungan silang mag-renew ng mga expired na lisensya ng baril(As the mid-term election nears, we are intensifying our campaign against loose firearms. Through Oplan Katok, our policemen will be going to houses of gun owners who have expired firearms’ licenses for them to surrender these and for us to be able to assist them in the renewal process)” Eleazar told reporters Thursday.

During Oplan Katok, a gun holder with expired license is advised to apply for renewal. Should the owner decide not to renew the firearm license and just surrender the firearm, an acknowledgement receipt shall be provided by the inspector to be signed by the firearm holder.

For lost firearms, the gun holder should execute an affidavit of loss stating the reason why it was lost and should be supported by a police investigation report.

Likewise, for a sold firearm, the vendee is required to facilitate the transfer of ownership of the firearm at the Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO). A mere deed of sale does not constitute a complete transaction.

In case of death of the licensed firearm holder, family members or relatives should report it to the FEO for the subsequent revocation of the license and will be advised on the process for the transfer of ownership of the firearm.

Under the law, particularly Republic Act 1059 or the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition, the PNP chief, through the FEO, shall issue licenses to qualified individuals and cause the registration of firearms.

Only small arms may be registered by licensed citizens or licensed juridical entities for ownership, possession and concealed carry. A light weapon shall be lawfully acquired or possessed exclusively by the AFP, the PNP and other law enforcement agencies authorized by the President in the performance of their duties

The registration of the firearm shall be renewed every four years. Failure to renew the registration of the firearm on or before the date of expiration shall cause the revocation of the license of the firearm and could be considered as loose firearm. The said firearm shall be confiscated or forfeited in favor of the government after due process.

Loose firearm refers to an unregistered firearm, an obliterated or altered firearm, firearm which has been lost or stolen, illegally manufactured firearms, registered firearms in the possession of an individual other than the licensee and those with revoked licenses in accordance with the rules and regulations.

“We call on those people to help us to gather these loose firearms and for a peaceful and orderly election. When you have unlicensed guns or with expired license, coordinate with your nearest police station through the Station Commander for them to be able to help you in the process of renewing your licenses. Otherwise, we’ll be forced to conduct case build-up operation and if necessary, we will file a search warrant,” the NCRPO chief added.

Eleazar also said they would deploy additional uniformed policemen in areas where indiscriminate firing of guns happened in the past Christmas and New Year celebrations, so violators would be immediately arrested and put behind bars. (PNA)