Istambay sa Mindanao

Personal blog of MindaNews' Walter I. Balane. Visit www.mindanews.com for more news, views and information on Mindanao.

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Location: Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, Mindanao, Philippines

I'm Walter Balane. I am a journalist based in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, Philippines. I initiated the group called Atong Press (www.atongpress.ning.com) for press freedom and responsibility and media education in Bukidnon.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

[NEWS] Davao City firmer on sale of high powered guns


Waltzib photo
Originally uploaded by waltzib.
(I don't really like talking about guns because of a childhood trauma. But writing this story took me to a brief detour. I counted myself out from those who believe that peace can be achieved "through the barrel of the gun." I beg to disagree with that concept of peace. That's too narrow or "kitid". I am a peace advocate - but definitely, not one for arming journalists or anyone except those whose job is to sport that lethal machine. This time though, I took a breather and tried to discover the other side of the coin. I work as a journalist, and part of the job is to do my homework about rifles and pistols just so I could make sense of this executive order. I went around three (3) gun dealers in the city to see what is more or less powerful than a .22 caliber gun. Also, I discovered that these machines are named after the size of the bullet they use, not the size of the pistol or rifle. I made a lot of discoveries. Also, I went to a gunsmith to search for more experiences. I talked to three prospect gun buyers about the reasons why they buy guns just to make a feel of their mind.

And I tried all the demo pistols in one of the gun stores! I mean i did something like that in the photo facing the mirror to see if I could style myself as a shooter. That's when I regained my sanity. I did not feel good seeing the image in the mirror. Although, my narcisstic tendency entertained the thought that the gun looked cool in my hands. The firearms dealer also told me I had a good grip so I could qualify to hold one (tell it to the marines Mr. Salesman!) I was supposed to see the truth about guns, including what blessess and ails them. Then I realized: that damn machine stinks! I returned it, washed my hands in the lavatory, and resumed taking down notes.

As what Walon Green said: "We got to start thinking beyond our guns. These days are closing fast". . )

THE ARTICLE
DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/3 Aug) -- Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte
ordered stricter rules on buying and selling high-powered guns to
"reasonably limit" ownership and bring within "acceptable level" the
number of gun holders in the city.

Duterte issued Executive Order No. 12 directing the Davao City Police
Office to regulate by mandating the issuance of police clearance first
before any sale or purchase of rifle higher than .22 caliber,
including accessories, and ammunition within the city.

"It is observed that there is a continuing and unabated increase in
the indiscriminate buying and selling of rifles higher than .22
caliber …beyond the limits of law, resulting to widespread and
uncontrolled proliferation thereof within the city thereby
compromising local public safety and order to the prejudice of the
approved peace and order plan of the city government," Duterte said in
EO 12 he signed on Aug. 1. The order stated that effectivity is "upon
signing."

Duterte ordered the police to issue the clearance, required in buying
any gun, to ascertain strictly the identity and monitor the activity
of all persons or groups who deal, acquire and dispose high powered
rifles. Also, the order stated, the clearance should ensure the
legality or validity of the purpose for which the rifle and
accessories, shotgun, or ammunition and cartridges.

He also ordered the police to deny the issuance of the clearance to
any person or group on account of "dubious identity, qualification, or
purpose."

Owners of local gun stores and dealers were also asked to refuse the
sale of any rifle, accessories, ammunition specified in the order to
any person or group who could not present the police clearance.

Duterte also asked them to submit to the DCPO a sworn monthly sales
report, including pending orders, identity of the purchaser, the
quality and quantity of the items bought, the date and purpose of
purchase. The mayor asked the gun dealers to submit a monthly report
of inventory of stocks to the police.

Gunsmiths and shops, shooting ranges and other establishments were
also asked to submit a report on repairs, modifications, installation
of accessories, and reloading services of the specified high-powered
guns.

Gun dealers and gunsmiths interviewed by MindaNews received a copy of
the executive order Thursday. They said an earlier order already
regulated the sales of ammunitions to 50 rounds. Davao City Police
Superintendent Catalino Cuy called a meeting with the dealers on
August 8.

The police clearance requirement is a standard in buying any gun, a
local gun dealer who used to worked with the Philippine National
Police's Firearms and Explosives Division told MindaNews.

"Maybe this order refers to the cases that elude police scrutiny
because of connections," he said.

A security guard who asked not to be named said the order could
discourage citizens from buying guns for dubious purposes. "Even those
who want to buy a gun for protection might be discouraged," he said.
The order did not specify pistols higher than .22 calibers.

The order, however, is not a ban on the high powered rifles, Cuy told
MindaNews Thursday. "This is only to monitor and regulate the sales
and distribution in the city," he said.

Duterte cited Section 16, the general welfare clause of the Local
Government Code -- which "authorizes every local government unit to
enact measures that will enhance the public health, safety,
convenience, maintain of peace and order, and promote the general
prosperity of its inhabitants" -- as basis for his order. (Walter I.
Balane / MindaNews)

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