Philippine Government Tightens Gun Ownership Laws

President blames easy access to guns for crime.

Philippine Government Tightens Gun Ownership Laws

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte blamed easy access to guns and ammunition as cause for continuing crime in his country. As a result, the Philippine government is expected to tighten the rules on gun ownership in that country.

President Duterte said the government should improve the regulation of public ownership of guns, particularly high powered firearms and ammunition to prevent these weapons from ending up in the hands of criminals and rebels.

“If anyone has the capability to buy arms we should make sure who these persons are and if they are qualified to have guns,” Duterte said, during a speech at a recent business meeting in Davao City by the Association of Firearms and Ammunition Dealers of the Philippines Inc. (AFAD).

Under current rules on firearms, Filipinos can apply for permits to own guns for self-defense and recreation under certain conditions. The person applying must give a reason for the request to have guns. They also must undergo a background check that looks at their criminal history as well as mental health. Qualified Filipinos can legally own civilianized, semi-automatic versions of military weapons such as the M4. The civilianized guns mean that they can only fire one round for every press of the trigger.

The article says that rebels, as well as law enforcers, use automatic weapons, while civilians can only be given permits for semi-automatic guns. Duterte’s restrictions may tighten the regulations of civilians being allowed to own the civilianized versions. Duterte said the threat of rebels being able to steal thee guns is too great. The guns, if stolen, could be used against civilians or law enforcement, he said. He also believes that security guards should have shotguns.

Two weeks ago, Duterte prohibited the transport and sale of ammunition for high powered guns, particularly the 5.56 mm and 7.62 calibers, to non-military and police personnel,