• Collecting, displaying of arrows illegal


    Persida Acosta

    Dear PAO,
    I am an avid weapons collector. I collect all kinds and forms of weapons from slingshots to guns and knives. I recently became interested in buying an exotic double-bladed metal arrow used for hunting wild animals. I intend to buy it as part of my collection and for display in one of my vacation houses. I was, however, advised by the seller that I should be careful in transporting it since it is illegal to possess it. I allegedly still need a permit from the government to possess an arrow. Is this true even if I don’t plan to use it, but only to display and collect it? I hope for your advice, so I can decide if I should still buy it. Thanks!

    Dear Tajho,
    Our country has a law that regulates the possession of arrows. This is Republic Act (RA) 3553 or An Act to Prohibit the Possession of Deadly Arrow.

    According to this law:

    “Any person who possesses a deadly arrow or pana without permit from a city, municipal or municipal district mayor shall be punished by imprisonment for a period of not less than thirty days nor more than six months. The phrase ‘deadly arrow or pana’ as used in this act means any arrow or dart that when shot from a blowgun or slingshot can cause injury or death to a person.

    “Any city, municipal or municipal district mayor may issue a permit to any individual to possess a deadly arrow or pana if such is to be used to earn a livelihood for such individual ” (Section 1-2, RA 3553).”

    This law defines a deadly arrow as an arrow that can cause injury or death to a person. In your situation, you described the arrow you intend to acquire as being double-bladed. Such kind of arrow is obviously potentially injurious to a person that puts it within the definition of what a deadly arrow is as set by law.

    The law expressly provides that the possession of a deadly arrow requires the necessary permit from the mayor of the place where the arrow is being possessed. Therefore, mere possession of a deadly arrow without the necessary permit from the mayor makes the possessor of the deadly arrow criminally liable.

    While the law allows the possession of a deadly arrow upon issuance of the necessary permit, you should consider that the law allows the issuance of such a permit only when the arrow will be possessed for the purpose of earning a livelihood. Because of this, it is unlikely that you would be able to get a permit for possessing a deadly arrow if your reason is merely to collect and display such item.

    Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.

    We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.

    Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net


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