1 Rough Times Ahead for Gun Owners and Airsoft in the Phil. on Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:08 pm
August 19, 2009
At the Congressional Hearing yesterday before the Committee on Public Order and Safety, we were invited along with all other stakeholders in the firearms industry and business to comment on House Bill No. 6658 introduced by Reps. Pedro P. Romualdo (lone district Camiguin) and Antonio V. Cuenco (Cebu). On our part, we prepared a lengthy position paper commenting on the flawed provisions of HB No. 6658 and were prepared for an oral discussion and questioning. Much to our dismay, none of the invited public or resource persons were allowed to speak or participate, as is the usual procedure in committee hearings before the House. Instead Congressman Chairman Rodolfo W. Antonino (Nueva Ecija) simply allowed a few short (irrelevant) comments from some committee members (who knew nothing about the bill) totalling about 20 minutes, then they moved to, and voted for, approval of the bill over our protestations.
Later that evening, I texted another congressman from that committee as to why it happened that way, he said, "That's a Malacanang-backed bill. The Office of the President made direct contact with the congressmen (not him) to approve that bill". Grrr..!
So now Malacanang, thru its dwarf President who is guilty of ordering and/or approving the extrajudicial killings and abductions of hundreds activists and journalists, is now hypocritically enacting measures that would effectively disarm the general population and deprive us of our right to defend ourselves.
Consider the following provisions of HB 6658:
1. Airsoft guns and all gas, spring operated pistols and rifles are now classified as TRUE FIREARMS, requiring licensing and Permit to carry just like regular firearms!
2. If you are in a group and one of you is caught with a firearm or part thereof (with or without your knowledge) ALL OF YOU will be presumed to be in illegal possession of firearms, and shall be accordingly all charged.
3. Penalties have been hugely INCREASED to Life Imprisonment for illegal possession and/or manufacture of firearms or light weapons, or 6-18 years for ammunition. "Ammunition" is defined, among others, to include BLANK AMMUNITION, and NOXIOUS LIQUID AND GAS??!!
4. "Light weapons" are now defined and prohibited, which includes any weapon capable of holding a DRUM magazine, which would include practically all semi-auto rifles, including rimfire 22's.
5. The crime of illegal possession of firearms shall now be considered as a SEPARATE AND DISTINCT penalty if any other crime is commmitted in the same act. So you could be charged TWICE for the same act and be slapped with TWO PENALTIES.
This bill is now being fast-tracked thru the congress for approval by GMA before Congress ends and her term expires next year. Of course, we in PROGUN and UAA are doing our best to make sure that we block this Bill in the House and the Senate. We, however, cannot do it alone without the support of YOU the thousands of legitimate and responsible gun owners and airsofters who value our freedom and civil rights. We are thus appealing for your help in this noble endeavor of preserving our shooting sports.