MORE than 50,000 gun owners have already acquired license to own and possess firearms (LTOPF) since the implementation of the new comprehensive firearm law last year, a police official said Monday.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) chief Senior Superintendent Elmo Francis Sarona said of the 500,000 registered firearm holder, 50,428 already secured LTOPF since May of last year.

Of the figure, 970 belonged to juridical agencies, security agencies while 49,458 were from private individuals.

Sarona said the increasing number of gun holders who secure their LTOPF only means that the gun holders are starting to comply with Republic Act 10591, or the new comprehensive firearm law.

"Marami pa rin kaming inaayos para to amend 'yung ilang provision sa implementing rules and regulations ng batas na ito para padaliin pa para sa gun owners na iproseso ang kanilang lisensya at sumunod sa batas," he said.

Under the new firearm law, a gun holder should secure first the LTOPF before having their firearms licensed.

The official said LTOPF is valid for two years while the firearm's license is valid for four years.

Under the new rates, Type 1 license holder who are allowed to have a maximum of two firearms will be charged P1,000, Type 2 license will P2,000 and are allowed to acquire a maximum of five registered firearms while Type 3 license holder who are allowed to own and posses a maximum 10 registered firearms will cost P3,000, Type 4 license holders would pay P5,000 for having a maximum of 15 guns and Type 5 license holders or those certified gun collector with more than 15 firearms will have to pay P10,000.

"May pinirmahan kaming memorandum of understanding with Land Bank of the Philippines to accept and process payments for LTOPF," Sarona said.

He said they are in the process of simplifying the process of acquiring LTOPF for the benefit of the gun owners and also in accordance with the order of PNP officer-in-charge Leonardo Espina due to numerous complaints from gun owners that its requirements are too excessive.

Meantime, Sarona said guns and firearms with expired license are accepted in any police stations for safe keeping and to avoid being charged for carrying loose firearms.

He said currently 22,339 firearms were surrendered in the PNP-FEO in Camp Crame Quezon City.

However, if the gun owners fail to retrieve their surrendered firearms in five years, it will be forfeited in favor of the PNP. (Sunnex)