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Albayalde reveals gun ownership has zoomed: Mas madali nang mag-apply

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Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde on Thursday lauded the government’s improved system for gun ownership registration.

In a chance interview at a local gun show, Albayalde confirmed that the more efficient process of applying for a provisional license to own and possess firearms (LTOPF) has prompted an increase in the number of registered gun owners.

“I just don’t know the exact number pero (but) there’s a bit increase of gun ownership ngayon (now). It’s because bumilis yung pag-process ng LTOPF (the processing of LTOPFs was expedited),” Albayalde said.

He also lauded the efforts of gun owners to obtain licenses, emphasizing that legal ownership helps in crime prevention.

“Nakita natin na hindi naman itong mga responsible gun owners ang problema natin (We saw that responsible gun owners are not the problem). In fact yung, responsible gun owners can serve as force multipliers in the prevention of crimes and the fight against criminalitysa ating bansa (in our country). Ang problema naman natin dito are the possessor ng (The problem here is the possessor of) loose firearms, yung mga ginagamit sa (those used in) criminal activity,” Albayalde underscored.

The PNP chief said the drive to grant amnesty to gun owners would help eliminate the problem on loose firearms.

“At yung pinaigting natin na (and our intensified) intelligence buildup on owners or possessors of loose firearms, lalo na yung mga tinatawag natin na (especially those whom we call) gun for hire or (private armed groups). Kaya nga nagbigay tayo ng direktiba sa ating kapulisan (that is why we issued a directive to our policemen) on the ground to intensify their Oplan Sita, checkpoint operations, pag-account ng mga (accounting for) loose firearms at pag-aresto ng mga (and arresting) most wanted persons sa kanilang (in their) areas of responsibility or jurisdiction,” he said.

Last year, the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office reduced the requirements for the issuance of provisional LTOPF to gun owners from 11 to just three — application form, a PHP500 fee, and a valid ID.

This also cuts down the processing time for provisional gun licenses from 11 days to just three days.

The license, however, is only valid for nine months and cannot be used to get new firearms. (PNA)