30-day gun ban in Armm starts July 1-A A +A
Thursday, June 28, 2012
THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has approved the imposition of a month-long gun ban for the 10-day general registration in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm).
According to Comelec Resolution 9479, the gun ban in the Armm starts from July 1 to July 31 as part of the preparations for the voters' registration from July 9 to 18.
"Whereas to ensure the safety of the applicants for registration, including Comelec personnel, deputies and equipment to be assigned and deployed in registration centers and in such other places or areas in the Armm, the commission sees the need to promulgate the necessary rules during the conduct of the general registration in the Armm,” the resolution dated June 27 stated.
It said the ban will cover all firearms defined by law, as well as air guns and air soft guns while deadly weapons include bladed instruments, hand grenades and other explosives, except pyrotechnics.
Traditionally, a gun ban is being imposed by the Comelec during the election period, which is 120 days before and 30 days after Election Day.
But aside from the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Maguindanao, and Lanao del Sur, the poll body decided to expand the coverage of the gun ban.
Aside from the Armm provinces, also covered by the ban are Cotabato City, Zamboanga City, Isabela City, and in the provinces of Sultan Kudarat, Zamboanga del Sur, Lanao del Norte, and North Cotabato.
Violation of the gun ban, the Comelec resolution said, could make one liable to one to six years of imprisonment as well as disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right of suffrage.
The Comelec resolution similarly directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to suspend the issuance of firearms licenses in the covered areas of the ban.
"The processing and approval of new firearm license, including renewal, may continue on condition that the new license and firearm shall be kept in deposit with the Firearms and Explosives Division of the PNP until after the effectivity of this resolution," the resolution read.
On the other hand, the Comelec said those previously given authority by the commission prior to the 2010 polls shall remain valid and effective provided that it is only for the purposes of the general registration in the Armm.
These include those engaged in the manufacture, importation, exportation, purchase and sale of explosives and/or its components as well as those engaged in transporting them. (HDT/Sunnex)