President Benigno S. Aquino 3rd has signed a new law that imposes tougher restrictions on owning and carrying guns.
The President signed “An Act Providing for Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition and Providing Penalties for Violations Thereof” (Republic Act 10591)
on May 29, the Palace announced on Saturday, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Saturday
Among the key features of the new law are the standards and prerequisites for the issuance or obtaining a license to own and possess a firearm.
Under R.A. 10591, an applicant for a gun license must be a Filipino citizen; at least 21 years old; has gained full work occupation or business or has filed an income tax return for the preceding year as proof of income, profession, business or occupation.
The applicant must not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude, has passed the psychiatric test administered by a Philippine National Police (PNP) accredited psychologist or psychiatrist.
The applicant must also pass the drug test conducted by an accredited and authorized drug testing laboratory or clinic.
Applicants must also pass the gun safety seminar administered by the PNP or a registered or authorized gun club, must file in writing the application to possess a registered firearm indicating the personal circumstances why he or she needs to own a firearm.
Applicants must get a police clearance to prove that they weren’t convicted or accused in a pending criminal case punishable with a penalty of more than two years. A person applying for a permit to carry (PTC) firearms must prove that he or she is under actual threat or is in imminent danger because of the nature of his or her profession, occupation or business.
Professionals who are considered to be in imminent danger due to the nature of their profession, occupation or business are the members of the bar, certified public accountants (CPA), accredited media practitioners, cashiers, bank tellers, priests, ministers, rabbis and imams, physicians, nurses, and engineers.
Businessmen who are exposed to the high risk of being targets of criminal elements can also apply for a PTC.
Section 10 of the Republic Act 10591 specifies that only small firearms may be registered for ownership, possession and concealed carrying.
Light weapons, meanwhile, are for the exclusive use of the military, police and other law enforcement agencies authorized by the President.
Firearms for use in sports and competitions also require licensing.
Gun stores must have a license to buy and sell firearms, and gunsmiths must also apply for a license for them to repair registered firearms.
The new law also requires gun owners to renew their licenses every two years. If they fail to do so, the PNP will revoke their license and confiscate their firearm.
The new law will take effect 15 days from its publication in a newspaper of nationwide circulation.