Palace talks about gun control, loose firearms

Posted at 04/25/13 11:52 AM

MANILA - A Malacañang spokesperson on Thursday said there are already gun control regulations in place after majority of Filipinos expressed support for tighter gun control.

In a statement, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said licensing procedures for gun owners are part of existing gun control regulations.

She said most guns used in committing crimes "are more often than not acquired illegally."

"President Aquino has already ordered the [Philippine National Police] to intensify efforts to recover loose firearms," she said in a text message.

Valte said the grant of a firearms license comes with conditions that must be followed, otherwise the holder runs the risk of having the license revoked.

She also noted that the numbers of the country's security forces have essentially remained unchanged from 1986, while the population continues to grow.

"While we have not achieved the ideal ratio between our forces and the citizens they protect, the people cannot be prevented from implementing their own measures within the bounds of the law."

In a Pulse Asia survey, 75 percent of respondents mostly from Metro Manila said they favor a policy on gun control.

The same survey also shows most Filipinos blame the proliferation of guns as a major cause of crime and violence in the country.

It added 78 percent of respondents are in favor of allowing only law enforcers and private security guards to carry firearms in public.

The study was conducted from March 16 to 20, 2013.