The Commission on Elections has released the guidelines for the 2022 election gun ban that prohibits bearing, carrying and transporting firearms and other deadly weapons to ensure the peaceful conduct of the May 9 polls.
In a resolution promulgated Nov. 10, the Commission En Banc set the election gun ban from Jan. 9 to June 8, 2022, which is also the official election period under the Comelec calendar.
What's not allowed during the election gun ban?
During the election gun ban, no person will be allowed to do the following unless authorized by the Comelec:
- Bear, carry, or transport firearms or deadly weapons outside his or her residence or place of business, in all public places, even if he or she has a license.
- Employ, avail or engage the services of security personnel or bodyguards, regardless if they are from the PNP, AFP, and other law enforcement agencies of the government or private security service.
- Transport and deliver firearms, ammunition, explosives, and their components.
All permissions to carry firearms outside of residence, letter orders and mission orders issued by the heads of the PNP and AFP are likewise suspended, ineffective, and without force during the gun ban period, unless authorized by the Comelec.
Who may be exempted from the gun ban?
The Comelec will create the Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Concerns or CBFSC tasked to issue certificates authorizing qualified persons and entities to bear, carry and transport firearms as well as employ security services.
The certificate of authority may be issued to the following individuals as long as they meet the requirements for application and allowed by the CBFSC:
- Regular officers, members and agents tasked to perform law enforcement, security functions and election duties, including the President, officers of the PNP and AFP, Comelec, NBI, BuCor, BJMP, among others.
- Security personnel of foreign diplomatic corps, missions and establishments under international law, including the foreign military personnel in the Philippines.
- Members of private security, investigative and protective agencies.
- High-risk individuals, including qualified government officials and private individuals whose duties, profession, or business make them a high-risk person, those under the Witness Protection Program, and former public officials.
- Security details of public officials and private individuals.
- Entities engaged in transporting, manufacture, import, export, purchase, and sell firearms, ammunitions, and explosives.
- Competitive sport shooters participating in international classifier and qualifier matches scheduled before the election period.
Are bladed instruments as souvenir items allowed?
Yes, as they are considered ornamental display items. Bladed souvenir items, however, must be purchased only from shops and stores accredited by the DOT and must have a corresponding Authenticated Sales Certificate showing they were purchased as souvenirs.
What are the penalties for violating the gun ban?
Persons found guilty of bearing, carrying or transporting firearms, or engaging security services during the election gun ban without a certificate of authority will be punished with a jail sentence of one to six years without probation. They will also be disqualified from holding public office and from voting in the elections.
The PNP chief may also revoke, cancel, or suspend the license of any person found to have violated the provisions on gun ban.
Read the full Comelec resolution here.