MANILA, Philippines — Police have failed to locate over 120,000 gun owners in the addresses they listed in their applications for firearms licenses, the Philippine National Police (PNP) disclosed on Monday.
PNP Director General Alan Purisima said this was among the findings of the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) since it started its campaign against loose firearms dubbed as “Oplan Katok” in December 2012.
As of June 17, he said FEO personnel had already visited the houses of 464,996 registered gun owners.
Citing the report from the FEO, Purisima said 65,862 registered gun owners listed addresses, which turned out to be fictitious, while 61,367 others had already left their residence.
“All these will be [used as] basis in adjusting the records [of the FEO] database and in improving its processes in the issuance of gun permits,” Purisima said in a statement.
“The house visitation conducted by our personnel is part of our efforts to eliminate… the use of unlicensed firearms in criminal activities,” he added.\
The PNP chief said the intensified campaign against unlicensed firearms proved to be effective in the police operations against organized crime groups, private armies and wanted persons.
So far, Purisima said a total of 6,061 firearms had been turned over by their owners to the police pending the approval of their application for the renewal of their gun licenses. He said FEO personnel also found out that 24,796 gun owners had already died.
He said owners of 16,593 guns failed to transfer the ownership of the firearms to their buyers while 3,497 individuals denied keeping firearms registered under their name.
Since implementing “Oplan Katok” and the election gun ban, the PNP said it was able to reduce the number of loose firearms from over 600,000 in June 2012 to about 245,000 as of May, a decrease of about 60 percent.