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Firearms bill gets House nod

Manila, Philippines – The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a new firearms law that would amend the Martial Law-era firearms regulations and provide for a comprehensive regulation of firearms, light weapons, and ammunition in the country.

Congressmen unanimously approved House Bill (HB) No. 5484 a few months after lawmakers sought stronger and clearer laws against possession of light weapons and high-powered firearms such as the ones discovered in the possession of presidential political adviser Ronald Llamas last October.

HB No. 5484 also amends Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1866 imposed during the Martial Law era by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos.

Authored by Reps. Leopoldo Bataoil (NPC, Pangasinan), Romeo Acop (NP, Antipolo City), Pablo John Garcia (NUP, Cebu), and Mel Senen Sarmiento (LP, Western Samar), HB 5484 prohibits citizens from owning light weapons but allows them to own a maximum of 15 registered small arms under the Type 4 license.

Certified and licensed gun collectors may be issued Type 5 gun licenses that will cover more than 15 firearms.

Light weapons refer to any firearm mounted with 20-millimeter (mm) rifled barrel or grenade launcher not exceeding 40 mm that are designed for use by two or more persons.

Small arms are firearms primarily designed for individual use or a firearm that is intended to be fired from the hand, such as revolvers and pistols. (Ben R. Rosario)

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