By JOEY NACALABAN and LITO RULONA
POLICE over the weekend announced that it would launch a province-wide crackdown on loose firearms as it sounded alarm bells over the number of guns with expired permits in Misamis Oriental.
Col. Rolando Destura, the province’s police director, said some 90 percent of the registered guns in Misamis Oriental have expired licenses.
He said some 2,000 guns should be surrendered or their owners face the prospects of getting arrested.
“Ako silang pahinumduman nga kinahanglan ila na nang i-surrender. Dili na sila maghulat nga aplayan pa namo sila’g search warrant ug dakpon namo sila for possessing unlicensed firearms,” Destura warned.
Destura said northern Mindanao police director Brig. Gen. Rafael Santiago Jr. has issued an order for the police to search and seize the guns with expired papers in line with the police campaign “Oplan Katok.”
The guns, according to Destura, may be surrendered to municipal and city police stations in the province for “safekeeping” while the gun owners work to renew their licenses.
Police said the recent raids in Claveria and Tagoloan towns that resulted in the arrest of relatives of a mayor, and a councilor were part of the police campaign.
Officials said “Oplan Katok” is in line with Section 19 of Republic Act 10591, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act. Reads part of the law: “All types of licenses to possess a firearm shall be renewed every two years. Failure to renew the license on or before the date of its expiration shall cause the revocation of the license and the registration of the firearm/s under said licensee.”
The registration papers of firearms are renewable every four years. The failure of gun owners to renew the registration papers on or before the date of expiration would result in the revocation of the firearm licenses that would then be confiscated in favor of the government.
A second offense could mean the perpetual disqualification of a gun owner from applying for any firearm license.