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Probe into civilians’ ownership of semi-automatic rifles sought

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 06:04 PM March 06, 2024

Probe sought into civilians' ownership of semi-automatic weapons

Senator Imee Marcos answers query from the members of the Senate media during a press conference on Wednesday, March 6, 2024. (Noy Morcoso/INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines— Senator Imee Marcos is seeking a probe into “the propriety” of allowing civilians to own semi-automatic rifles.

The proposed inquiry was contained in Senate Resolution  No. 953 she filed on Wednesday.


This followed  the Philippine  National Police’s announcement on Tuesday that  civilians can now own semi-automatic rifles, following minor adjustments to the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) 10591 the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.


According to the resolution, a provision of the  law explicitly states that only small firearms may be registered by licensed citizens or licensed juridical entities for ownership, possession and concealed carry.

But in April, 2018, the PNP issued a revised IRR of the law, stating that “rifles are classified as small arms only if they are intended for sport shooting.”

“Despite the general prohibition on owning high-powered rifles under R.A. 10591 and its revised implementing rules and regulations, such weapons continue to proliferate,” Marcos lamented in her resolution.

She cited some cases where high-powered firearms were used  like in the killing of Negros Oriental  Governor Roel Degamo and eight others in a gun attack inside his house in Pamplona town in March last year.

The senator stressed in the resolution the need “to ascertain the possible impact of allowing citizens to own high-powered rifles and whether such rifles are reasonably necessary for citizens to defend themselves from unlawful aggression.”

“There is likewise a need to examine whether allowing private citizens to own high-powered rifles is consistent with the policy of the state to maintain peace and order and to protect the people against violence,” Marcos added.


In a separate statement earlier this Wednesday,  the senator  expressed fear that allowing  civilians to own high-powered firearms could  lead to “a rise in criminality, terrorism, arms smuggling, and widespread violence in the 2025 elections.”

“The PNP is shooting itself in the foot and compromising law enforcement efficiency and, above all, public safety,”  she said.

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“Do we want a proliferation of shooting violence like in the U.S.? Who is lobbying for firearms manufacture and imports?” she asked.

TAGS: Imee Marcos, weapons

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