Senator wants firearms kept in vaults-A A +A
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
FIREARMS should be kept in a vault inside the owners’ homes when left unattended, former Philippine National Police chief turned Senator Panfilo Lacson said Tuesday in light of deadly incidents that involved the irresponsible use of guns.
Lacson said the government should do away with the issuance of a Permit to Carry Firearms Outside Residence (PTCFOR) for civilians to erase perception that anyone with a firearm tucked in his waist must be a police or law enforcement officer or at least one with a PTCFOR.
If implemented, Lacson said anyone with a firearm tucked in his waist would be presumed as a "bad element without doubt and therefore must be reported to the authorities."
"When this happens, a lot of lives can be saved and a big positive impact on the country's peace and order will be felt by the citizenry," he said, adding he had limited the issuance of this kind of permit when was the PNP chief from 1999 to 2001.
Last week, a seven-year-old girl was killed after being hit by a stray bullet during the New Year revelry, while at least seven were gunned down when a man went on a shooting spree in Kawit, Cavite.
This prompted some groups to renew calls for total gun ban which has yet to be evaluated by President Benigno Aquino III.
For Senator Vicente Sotto III, however, the proposal is nothing but a knee-jerk reaction.
“If we outlaw guns, then only the outlaws will have guns, as the saying goes. The citizenry will be at the mercy of the criminal elements with high-powered guns at their disposal,” he said.
What happened in Cavite, Sotto added, was an indication of the government’s little progress in its anti-drug campaign.
Police said the gunman, Ronald Bae, was under the heavy influence of methamphetamine or shabu when he went on the killing spree. Bae’s house was also reportedly used as distribution center for illegal drugs.
Sotto said the government should instead increase the budget of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) so that it could upgrade and update its anti-drug operations.
There should also be more coordination and synchronization in the efforts of all agencies involved in the fight against illegal drugs, he added. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)