Group pushes for revision of gun ownership laws in PH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 5) — A group advocating for a gunless Philippines is calling for a revision of current laws to at least limit the number of guns a citizen can own to two.

Speaking to CNN Philippines' On the Record Thursday, Norman Cabrera, head of Gunless Society of the Philippines, said under the current system, a Filipino can register practically an unlimited number of firearms.

Cabrera said the policy of owning a large number of guns allows the proliferation of private armies. Limiting the number of guns in the hands of people could help control gun violence, he added.

There are currently five types of licenses to own and possess firearms:

Type 1 - maximum of two guns

Type 2 - maximum of five guns

Type 3 - maximum of 10 guns

Type 4 - maximum of 15 guns

Type 5 - more than 15 guns

"Wouldn't this be better for the police's capacity to control crime in the country," Cabrera said of their proposition.

He added, "If you want to control crime, you have to the control criminals. And if you want to control the criminals, you have to control guns."

This would also include heavier penal provisions in the law, he said.

PH ranks high in gun-related deaths

Speaking on the recent deaths of two mayors – Mayor Antonio Halili of Tanauan in Batangas and Mayor Ferdinand Bote of General Tinio in Nueva Ecija – Cabrera said, "The fact that these mayors are high profile people, our view is that this is the norm in our country, it's practically a killing field."

SSupt. Bong Durana, PNP Spokesperson commented what Cabrera said was "quite unfair."

Citing a study, Cabrera said the country ranked "quite high on gun-related deaths."

He said said among about 200 countries, the Philippines ranked 10th.

Unless this is addressed, Cabrera said, the country is in "very big trouble."

"We know that violence has dire implications not only in the citizens physical security, but in the over all human security as well. This includes economic security, food security, community security, and even political security," he added.