MANILA -- Lawmakers are seeking tighter regulations on realistic-looking toy weapons amid increasing concern that these are being used by criminals, especially holduppers.
Under the proposed House Bill 3805, airsoft rifles and pistols shall be banned from public display, restricting it to war games simulations, and shall carry "distinctive marking" on the tip of its nozzle to help differentiate it from actual firearms.
Representative Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City), principal author of the bill, believes that the bill's proponents will help regulate these toy guns, which according to him, largely remained "untouched by the government."
“No direct regulations have been placed on the airsoft community and players of all ages and background are welcomed to play,” said Rodriguez.
Last month, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima warned criminals and other persons who will use toy guns and replica firearms to commit crimes may be imprisoned for violation of Republic Act 10591, or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act.
He stressed that even a homemade revolver called the "paltik" can be considered an imitation firearm.
House Bill 3805, co-authored by Rep. Maximo Rodriguez (Party-list, Abante Mindanao), also intends to regulate the manufacturing, importing, and selling of these replica firearms.
The bill provides that those interested in distributing airsoft rifles and pistols, previously authorized or new, shall need to apply for a permit from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the PNP.
The bill further mandates that these replicas shall bear a permanently affixed blaze orange or red pulp color in its barrel and tip.
Any person or entity found to have violated provisions of the proposed Act shall be liable to a fine of not less than P100,000 or an imprisonment of not less than six months, or both at the discretion of the court, the bill provides.