San Juan intensifies drive vs loose firearms
San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora checks out unlicensed firearms surrendered to the city police yesterday.
Boy Santos
San Juan intensifies drive vs loose firearms
Neil Jayson Servallos (The Philippine Star) - October 23, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Almost 4,000 gun owners in San Juan have yet to surrender loose firearms in their possession amid the city police’s ramped up efforts to seize guns with expired licenses.

Citing data from the Philippine National Police Firearms and Explosives Office, city police chief Col. Jaime Santos said they have yet to account for 3,995 loose firearms.

Santos told The STAR they visited 1,593 gun owners at their homes to remind them to renew documents allowing their ownership of firearms.

Police have set their sights on visiting 2,402 more gun owners in the city under “Oplan Katok” program.

Mayor Francis Zamora said he believes that fewer loose firearms means lower crime rate.

Based on records from the National Capital Region Police Office, Zamora said San Juan has the lowest crime rate in Metro Manila for this year.

“This is because of intensified operations of the local police in peacekeeping, especially during the pandemic,” Zamora told reporters.

Police and city officials presented to media yesterday 85 loose firearms that have been surrendered to authorities. These include nine rifles, nine shotguns, 19 revolvers and 48 pistols with expired licenses.

Under the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, licenses to own guns should be renewed every two years, within six months before the birthday of the owner.

Registration documents of the firearms need to be renewed every four years within six months before its expiration. Failure to renew these would mean revocation of permits.

Santos said he had warned gun owners to surrender their firearms to police pending their renewal of applications.

He said failure to do so would prompt the police to apply for search warrants and file charges pursuant to gun control laws.

Zamora appealed to gun owners to renew their documents as lockdown restrictions have been eased.

“There’s no reason to say you have no time, or that you’re busy due to the pandemic. The quarantine status is not strict unlike before. Let’s not use the pandemic as an excuse because Camp Crame is open,” he said.

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