More solons favor stricter gun control over total ban

TWO lawmakers are favoring stricter gun control over a total ban in light of the spate of gun-related deaths and injuries recently.

Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo (2nd District, Valenzuela City) said in implementing stricter gun control, there should be focus on gun safe handling to prevent accidents.

“All gun owners must be required to have mandatory gun safe handling course and pass the evaluation test. The problem really lies with loose firearms,” said Gunigundo, a Deputy Majority Leader.

Rep. Jeci Lapus (3rd District, Tarlac), a co-author of House Bill 5484 or the Comprehensive Regulation of Firearms, Light Weapons and Ammunition that sought to repeal Presidential Decree 1866 and which was approved by the House on third and final reading last January 2012, said what is important is responsible gun ownership.

“We cannot just disarm innocent civilians. We should go after illegal gun owners,” said Lapus.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. earlier said the country certainly needs greater firearms control. He said a total ban except, for those in the military, police and security agencies, was only ideal as long as illegal firearms thrive.

Seven-year-old Stephanie Nicole Ella died from a stray bullet during the New Year’s Eve revelry in Caloocan. Her death was followed by a shooting rampage of a drug-crazed man in Cavite last week that left eight people dead and 11 others wounded.

Deputy Presidential Spokeswoman Abigail Valte said the Palace would still look into the various proposals to prohibit gun ownership and discuss the matter with President Benigno S. Aquino III.

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