It is quite confusing why gun accidents happen now and then in the Philippine National Police (PNP).

A member of the elite Special Weapons and Tactics or Swat team in San Pablo City, Laguna died after he was hit by a bullet from a colleague’s firearm on Nov. 24, 2022. The Swat team members were checking their firearms for inspection when the reported accidental discharge happened.

On Thursday, Dec. 1, a police officer assigned in Calamba City, Laguna accidentally fired his government-issued firearm during a routine inspection. No one was hit by the wayward bullet.

In Cebu, a 32-year-old police officer was found dead inside the barracks of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion-Central Visayas (RMFB 7) in Sibonga town, Cebu province on All Souls’ Day last Nov. 2.

The police officer was last seen dry firing his firearm inside the RMFB 7 camp. Dry firing is a practice of firing a firearm without ammunition.

The public would never know how the police officer died unless the Police Regional Office 7 will release the results of its investigation.

PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. has ordered all unit commanders to make sure their personnel know how to handle firearms. He also ordered all police officers to undergo more training on gun safety.

With the latest gun accidents in Luzon, it is high time for the PNP leadership to reconsider issuing firearms to all police officers.

The PNP must set parameters as to when and how a police officer can qualify to receive a government-issued firearm. As for police officers who cannot pass, they can be issued with fixed or collapsible batons and stun guns.

Or better yet, the PNP could issue firearms only to police officers serving in narcotics, intelligence and special operations units as they are dealing with rogue individuals.

Police officers doing administrative duties all day long do not need firearms.