MEMBERS of the Peaceful and Responsible Owners of Guns (Progun) will question before the Supreme Court (SC) the new firearms licensing, registration and other fees being imposed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) which they described as confiscatory, excessive and unreasonable.
“Government regulatory fees are not supposed to be for profit-making. As such, Progun will be questioning the validity of these fees in the Supreme Court,” the group said.
It noted that the recently announced fees were almost doubled.
In its official Facebook page, Progun said the new fees are contrary to Republic Act 10591 or “Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.”
“Lastly, these fees are unconstitutional because they are a violation of substantive due process being confiscatory, unreasonable and excessive. Regulatory fees should not go beyond the cost of regulating the activity sought to be regulated,” it said.
There are 1.7 million licensed firearms registered with the PNP.
Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd reportedly approved the rates “to defray the expenses related to the effective implementation Republic Act 10591.”
PNP spokesman Senior Supt. Wilben Mayor said the new charges will be enforced nationwide by the Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) that oversees gun control.
Progun earlier questioned before the SC the centralized gun regulatory processes, including requirements, testing and licensing in Camp Crame. The SC ruled in its favor by issuing a temporary restraining order (TRO).
But the group subsequently filed a verified petition for contempt before the SC against PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima and five FEO officers for allegedly violating the TRO.
Progun claimed the FEO continued to implement the centralized licensing policy of requiring licensed gun owners to go to Camp Crame to personally renew their licenses, which was specifically restrained and enjoined by the TRO.
The same policy was imposed for all new firearms license applicants.
The same TRO also ordered the PNP to reopen its satellite offices in the regions to accept and process firearms license renewals, which was also not complied with.
The group claimed that the PNP continued to process registration applications with the “Consent and Waiver” clause allowing the police to enter the homes of licensed gun owners to inspect their firearms, which was also enjoined and restrained by the SC’s TRO.