‘Catch trigger-happy gun owners on video’
MANILA, Philippines–The top official of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) has urged the public to capture on video anyone who fires a gun during the holiday season’s merrymaking.
“I call on the community to help us against gun holders who indiscriminately fire their guns by [taking] videos of them,” QCPD director Senior Supt. Joel Pagdilao said in a statement issued over the weekend.
At the same time, he assured those who submit videos that the police would keep their identity confidential.
Pagdilao made the suggestion as he noted that the Quezon City police have been working hard to go after loose firearms in the city under its “Oplan Katok” campaign.
Under the program, the police have been going door to door to check on firearms holders who have yet to apply for a License to Own and Possess Firearms (LTOPF) or are holding expired gun permits.
LTOPF processing started only this year under the new Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Law.
Pagdilao noted that under the regulation, firearms with permits that were not renewed before or within the date of expiry would be considered illegal. Gun owners found guilty of the violation may face up to 30 years in jail, depending on the classification of their firearms.
Pagdilao said that as of Dec. 8, six of the 12 police stations of Quezon City have already completed Oplan Katok in their areas, namely the La Loma Police Station, the Novaliches Police Station, the Fairview Police Station, the Project 4 Police Station, the Galas Police Station and the Eastwood Police Station.
He said that any footage taken of persons firing their firearms indiscriminately would make it easier for the police to identify and go after them.
So far, the Quezon City police have learned that some firearm holders have been unable to update their license or firearm registration due to financial constraints.
There were also cases in which the gun owners have passed away, Pagdilao said, adding that in both cases, the firearms may be turned over to the police for safekeeping.
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