MANILA, Philippines - The proliferation of loose firearms permeates the Philippines, which has led to the rise in gun deaths, according to an advocate of a gunless society.
Nandy Pacheco, founder of the Gunless Society, said authorities are powerless to stop the rise in loose firearms in the country due to lack of political will.
"The problem here is the congressmen, the senators, those in power...They set a bad example when they apply for all sorts of exemptions when there's a gun ban," he told radio dzMM.
Pacheco said he is not against people owning firearms as long as they keep their guns under lock and key.
He said there have been many instances where the children of gun owners use their parents' guns to commit suicide or use it on other people.
Pacheco said he is against electoral candidates who apply for permits to carry firearms because of alleged death threats. He said many electoral bets campaign with an entourage of armed bodyguards.
The Gunless Society is pushing that only law enforcers should be allowed to carry firearms outside residences. This means any person who is seen in public with a firearm but without a government uniform can be reported to authorities.
Pacheco said he wants a gun ban during the holiday season with heavy penalties for violators.
Calls for stricter gun control laws have increased following the stray bullet death of seven-year-old Stephanie Nicole Ella on New Year's Day.
Ella was watching fireworks displays outside her house in Caloocan when she was killed by a stray bullet.
RADIO DZMM, January 4, 2013