Press Release
November 24, 2021

Opening Statement Public Hearing on Indiscriminate Firing Bills
(HNB6123 & SBN1531)

Magandang araw muli sa ating lahat!

Last January 1, 2021, a 12-year-old girl from Lanao del Norte died on New Year's Day after being hit by a stray bullet while playing outside her home past midnight[1]. Also, another two victims of stray bullets were reported that day, a six-year old from Sta Catalina, Negros Occidental and a male victim from Dagupan City. Further, on the same day, a policewoman from Malabon was arrested for indiscriminate firing. Ilan lamang ito sa mga insidente ng stray bullets sa bansa. Marami nang bata at matatanda ang naging biktima ng mga iresponsable taong umaabuso sa kanilang pag mamay-ari ng baril.

Gun ownership and possession in our jurisdiction, is not a right but a mere privilege. While owning a gun gives you the power to protect yourself from any harm or aggression, this carries with it huge and serious responsibility.

In 2013, Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act was passed by Congress in order to regulate the ownership and possession of all kinds of firearms and ammunition. This is consistent with the provisions provided under the Revised Penal Code penalizing the illegal discharge of firearms and acts constituting alarms and scandals, and the policy of the State to maintain peace and order, and protect the people from all kinds of violence. Despite these laws, many are still not deterred in using their guns aimlessly and arbitrarily. As such, there is a need to introduce a greater restraint to prevent the occurrence of these crimes.

Today, as we take steps to strengthen our existing gun laws by introducing stiffer penalties, we intend to implement this to discourage anyone to randomly and arbitrarily use their firearms.

Napapanahon ang pagtalakay natin ng mga panukalang batas sa ating agenda dahil ilang araw na lamang ay sasalubungin na naman natin ang bagong taon. At sa pagpasa ng panukalang ito, mas matatakot na ang mga nag-iisip gumamit ng kanilang mga baril ngayong bagong taon na may kakaharapin silang mas mabigat na parusa sa kanilang paglabag. I hope that these measures will save many innocent lives.

As a gun safety advocate, I would like to encourage everyone to support this measure to inculcate and educate the public to be a responsible gun owner. Guns should be used to protect and save lives - not harm innocent citizens.

At this juncture, I would like to hear your thoughts on these proposed measures.

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