249 gun ban exemption applications fail pre-evaluation - Comelec

Only 23 applications for gun ban exemption have so far passed the pre-evaluation stage since the Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Concerns (CBFSC) started accepting last June 5, the Commission on Elections said on Monday, July 3.

Based on the data provided by Comelec spokesman Atty. John Rex Laudiangco, as of June 30, the poll body has received 272 applications, but only 23 passed the pre-evaluation stage and were considered as "duly filed".

"These were later on submitted for the final evaluation and deliberation by the CBFSC tripartite body composed of the Comelec, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)," Comelec said.

Those who got an approved application will receive a corresponding Certificate of Authority (CA) issued by the CBFSC while a Notice of Denial will be provided to those with denied applications indicating the ground or reason for denial.

Comelec said that the CBFSC noted that most applications failed to pass the pre-evaluation stage due to submission of incomplete requirements and/or non-compliance with the procedure highlighted in Comelec Resolution No. 10918.

The poll body said that in order to prevent such incidents from happening, interested applicants are strongly encouraged to visit the Comelec gun ban landing page at www.comelec.gov.ph for the detailed instruction on the procedure for filing applications as well as the rundown of requirements and other important information.

Comelec began accepting applications on June 5 for the gun ban exemption, three months before the election period for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE).

For the October 2023 BSKE, the gun ban will be in effect during the election period which according to Comelec Resolution No. 10905, will be from Aug. 28 to Nov. 29, 2023.

Comelec has already released Resolution No. 10918 enumerating the rules and regulations on the ban, bearing, carrying, and transportation of firearms. This also covers the prohibition against availment or engagement of the services of security personnel or bodyguards.

The CBFSC, chaired by Commissioner Aimee Ferolino, refers to the Committee in the Commission, which shall be responsible for the implementation of the ban on the bearing, carrying, or transporting of firearms and other deadly weapons, and the employment, availment or engagement of security personnel, among others, and the rules and regulations on the application for exemption.

Ferolino has mentioned that they do not expect a rise in applications since there is no presence of a widespread or massive threat in the country that would trigger an influx in applications.

Full exemption according to the resolution, will be granted to the President of the Philippines, Vice President of the Philippines, Senators, House of Representatives Members, judges and justices, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff, and Major Service Commanders, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief and senior officers, Cabinet Secretaries and Undersecretaries, Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsmen, state prosecutors, and Comelec officials.