Press Release
September 21, 2019

Zubiri: Extend firearms license validity to 5 years

Gun owners have a reason to rejoice if the validity of firearms license would be extended by three more years.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri filed a measure extending the validity of firearms and ammunition license from two years to five years.

Senate Bill No. 1023, which seeks to amend Republic Act No. 10591 or the "Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act", also seeks to extend the firearm registration from four years to five years.

In filing the measure, Zubiri hopes to cut back the number of loose firearms as gun owners will be encouraged to register because of ease in the streamlined renewal processes of both the license and registration of firearms in the Philippines.

A firearms and ammunition license is an official document authorizing a Filipino citizen to own and possess or carry firearms outside of the residence. Firearm registrations are documents issued by the Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) as proof that the firearm is duly registered and recorded at the Firearms Information Management System (FIMS) of the FEO.

As of last year, there were around 200,000 private individuals who hold firearm and ammunition licenses, according to Chief Supt. Valeriano de Leon, director of the PNP-FEO. Unofficial reports stated there could be more individuals who possess or own firearms.

Furthermore, there are about 600,000 firearms registered in the FEO and approximately one million loose or unregistered firearms nationwide.

"In streamlining the renewal of both the license and registration of firearms and considering the extended period of validity, we expect the number of unregistered firearms in the country to decrease," Zubiri said.

"In addition, this would be beneficial to those who already have a license and registration as they would not have to reregister and renew their registration and license as frequently," he added.

"In order to achieve efficiency in license renewals and registration, contacts with government must be drastically lessened. I believe providing for a standard period of validity of firearms registration and license is a sure-fire measure. Varying periods of validity of such license, permit and registration had contributed to red tape, and discouraged gun owners to register and secure licenses," Zubiri said.

"In order to streamline the process of renewing both the license and registration, and make it more convenient for gun owners, this bill seeks to amend Section 19 of RA No. 10591 by extending the validity of both the license and registration to five (5) years so they can be renewed at the same time. Similar to the Philippine driver's license which has a five-year validity, this extension will parallelize the validity of government-issued documents," he added.

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