The Supreme Court on Wednesday was asked by a group of registered gun owners to halt the new fees being collected by the Philippine National Police (PNP) for the ownership, possession, and carrying of firearms.
In their petition for certiorari, Go Act questioned the new fees, saying they are in the nature of a “tax” and “no longer defraying the costs of regulation.”
The group said the PNP abused its discretion when it imposed the fees.
Named respondents were Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, PNP officer-in-charge Leonardo Espina and several other PNP officials.
“There is no dispute that the ownership and possession of firearms is an activity which the State has authority to regulate and license, through the use of police power. [I]f the fee in question is aimed primarily at regulation, it is a regulatory fee. However, if the fee in question has no relevance to the costs of inspection and regulation, it is a tax and no longer aimed at defraying the costs of regulation,” the group pointed out.
It said “the Schedule of Fees is actually a tax, as it is clearly irrelevant to the costs of inspection and regulation required under RA 10591.”
The petitioners asked the high court to immediately issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) and stop the enforcement of the new rates while the case is heard. It also sought a status quo ante order (SQAO) for the old rates to apply.
Under the new rates, the PNP collects fees ranging from P1,000 to P10,000 for the processing and issuance of Licenses to Own and Possess Firearms (LTOPF), Permits to Carry Firearms Outside Residence (PTCFOR), Sports Shooter Licenses (SSL).
For LTOPF TYPE 1 (maximum of 2 firearms), a fee of P1,000 is collected,
LTOPF TYPE 2 (maximum of 5 firearms), P2,000, TYPE 3 (maximum of 10 firearms) – P3,000, TYPE 4 (maximum of 15 firearms) – P5,000, TYPE 5 (more than 15 firearms) – P10,000, Antique Firearms Collector’s License, P2,000, Gun Collector’s License, P5,000
Permit to Transport, P200, PTCFOR, P6,000, Gun Seminar Fee, P500, Validation of Gun Safety Seminar Fee issued by recognized and authorized Gun Club, P100, Carrying of additional ammunition for licenses sports shooters, P1,500.