NATIONAL Capital Region Police Office chief Director Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar yesterday called anew on Metro Manila residents with expired firearms licenses to surrender them to the local police for safekeeping and to keep them away from trouble with the law during the election period.
Eleazar has ordered all five NCRPO districts to further step-up their implementation of the Philippine National Police Oplan: Katok wherein uniformed officers knock on the doors of gun owners with expired licenses to courteously remind them of their duty to renew their licenses and permits on time.
The PNP is reminding firearms’ holders with expired licenses or those whose licenses are already expiring that they can turn over their licensed guns to the nearest police station for safekeeping. All turned over guns are properly given receipts by the PNP.
“Ang ating sinasabi sa kanila ay ito’y pansamantalang i-turn over sa atin for safekeeping sa ating mga pulis at tutulungan na rin nating ma-facilitate itong pagre-renew ng kanilang firearms,” Eleazar told the Journal Group.
Eleazar assured owners they will not be charged or arrested for having expired licenses provided that they make all efforts to renew them.
There are over a million unregistered firearms in the country including those owned by private individuals and juridical entities which include government security offices, local government units and private security agencies.
There are also an estimated 25,000 firearms currently under the possession of organized crime groups and lawless elements including the New People’s Army, the Abu Sayyaf Group and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.