MANILA - President Aquino is not keen on proposals to impose a total gun ban, saying he is in favor instead of a law that will impose more sanctions on gun owners violating their privileges.
Speaking to reporters, Aquino said that imposing a total gun ban will not deter outlaws from securing firearms and will only serve to disarm “law-abiding” gun owners.
“By definition lahat itong gumagawa ng krimen outlaw, so a law that seeks to reform the outlaws will not work. So you need a law that would sanction them further to prove as a deterrence, okay ‘yun,” he said.
Aquino said that studies have shown that areas in the United States that have a liberalized policy on licenses to carry concealed weapons have experienced “a marked drop in crime statistics.”
“Areas na naghigpit had seen an increase [in crime],” he said.
“I think a lot of us will agree with the basic premise na ‘yung outlaw will be one of the first or the first groups to say na ‘Thank you, madi-disarmahan ‘yung law-abiding citizen dahil mas madali na silang mabiktima. So it sounds nice ‘total gun ban’ but the ‘total’ does not happen because the outlaw will not. So we will not stop in our pursuit of all of these people who are outside of the law and get them to the bars of justice.”
He cited an ongoing campaign to run after loose firearms and “neutralize” a number of individuals belonging to private armed groups.
He said the PNP also has a campaign to remind gun owners whose licenses have expired.
He said that as part of the “Oplan Katok” campaign, police had previously tried to visit twice Ronald Bae, the man in Kawit, Cavite who recently went on a shooting rampage. The police had wanted to remind him about the expired license of his firearm but he was not at his residence at the time, according to Aquino.
PNOY: I HAVE A RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE
Aquino won’t drop target shooting as his hobby, saying self-defense is a “skill” that should be practiced.
He said the law gives him the right to self-defense, pointing out that he had been a “victim of violence” during the 1987 coup against his mother’s administration when he was hit by a bullet.
“Both my church and the law recognize my right to self-defense. Self-defense is a skill and it is a skill that has to be practiced to have any value. Ulitin ko lang, magandang headline, “total gun ban.” Pero kneejerk reaction e. Hindi ko ugaling mambola. Maghanap tayo ng paraan na talagang maso-solve ‘yung isyu at hindi nagpapa-cute lang,” he said.
He said that following a continuing effort to dismantle private armed groups, 64 have been arrested, 9 killed, 50 have surrendered and 243 firearms have been recovered.
“Pasensyahan na lang. Pero ang ginagawa nga namin, before all these incidents happened, habulin lahat ng private armed groups dahil palagay natin ito ang pinaka-violent at pinaka-threat sa society. Masisasig na effort, hindi ningas kugon, hindi isang linggo, hindi dalawang linggo. Continuous efforts at may resulta na,” Aquino said.