Gun group up in arms vs. PNP on license renewals
MANILA, Philippines—A gun advocacy group has asked the Supreme Court to cite the Philippine National Police in contempt for pushing ahead with new regulations centralizing the processing of applications and renewals of permits to carry firearms at the police headquarters in Camp Crame, violating a temporary restraining order the tribunal issued on April 8.
Progun Inc. has asked the high court to cite PNP Director General Alan Purisima and officials of the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office (PNP-FEO), including its head, Supt. Moro Virgilio Lazo, in contempt for supposedly “refusing to obey a TRO” which was a “direct affront to our legal processes.”
The group wants the previous decentralized process to remain.
“The refusal of the respondent PNP… is a direct violation of the TRO issued by this honorable court. Centralized firearms licensing applications and renewals at Camp Crame Quezon City are the core issue [that] the petition in this case is questioning,” said the five-page petition filed on Thursday.
“The refusal of respondent PNP to abide by the court-issued TRO was a mockery of justice,” said the Progun petition, stressing that “no person or institution is above the law.”
The group cited the difficulty in renewing carry permits under the centralized system, noting how even “prominent government officials,” including members of Congress and a government agency head, had been “turned away and told to go home” due to their failure to comply with requirements, including a personal appearance at Camp Crame for several tests.
It said some 90 percent of carry permit applications in the provinces have also been turned away.
The group also noted a slump in the firearms trade, with zero sales since January.
“The firearms dealers have closed 50 percent of their stores in the provinces, and have laid off thousands of workers and employees due to no sales,” said Progun.
The PNP centralized its gun registry and shut down satellite offices for the purpose.
Camp Crame took the step as a security measure, citing how up to 70 percent of gun holders had been able to obtain carry permits using questionable data and the proliferation of loose firearms. Malacañang has expressed its support for the measure.