PNP launches digital system for gun licensing

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AFP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–As soon as the Firearms and Explosive Office of the Philippine National Police finishes the ongoing major revamp in its office, renewal for firearms license will require “human intervention” no more.

PNP-FEO newly minted chief superintendent Louie Tiroy Oppus, who recently assumed office last September, urged Thursday gun holders with expired licenses to cooperate with the police firearms office, avail themselves of the final gun amnesty program and file for gun renewal online.

As the FEO undergoes a total makeover, the office will focus their attention on at least 70,000 gun holders who used fake addresses and contact details in applying for licenses.

Oppus said the FEO will modernize the application for renewals of firearms license by coming up with a digitized system to ensure the accuracy of the details given by applicants and their compliance with the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 10951 or the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition and Providing Penalties for Violations.

RA 10951 imposes penalties such as imprisonment of at least 30 years for illegal possession of firearms. The law also requires holders of unregistered firearms and guns with expired licenses to register and renew through a final general amnesty.

Citing an FEO report dated October 31, Oppus said that out of 1,697,450 registered gun holders, both individual and juridical, some 597,707 have either expired licenses or fictitious details in their registration.

In the FEO’s operation plan Katok, police officers conducted a door-to-door visit to the addresses of firearms holders who did not renew their licenses. Oppus said, 70,000 addresses couldn’t be located.

To tackle these lapses, he said the FEO would implement new measures to avoid the non-compliance of gun holders.

PNP Firearms and Explosives Office chief Supt. Louie Tiroy Oppus. PHOTO BY JULLIANE DE JESUS/INQUIRER.net

“As our approach to the new law, we will (impose) new database requirements. For first time applicants, we will ask for their proof of billing and we will require their personal appearance during the application process,” he said.

The firearms office chief told INQUIRER.net that if the applicants for renewal will be able to present all the required documents, their application could be accomplished in a day.

Detailing the projected license application process, Oppus said the approval and rejection of renewal applications will be made online, submitted documents will be scanned, payments can be done through banks.

Six months, and then three months, before the expiration of the license, gun holders will be alerted through text messages by the FEO.

“The next day after the expiration date, guns with expired license are already considered loose firearms,” he emphasized.

In the improved firearms licensing system, the FEO will strictly require the applicants to submit their updated neurological examination and drug test.

“I ask for the cooperation of gun holders, to file it (licenses) factually dahil kayo din ang madadale (because you will be caught). Mapapatupad din ang batas (The law would be strictly implemented),” he added.

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