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New law raises stiffer penalties for indiscriminate firing
INDISCRIMINATE firing is now a law.
This was confirmed by Senate President Miguel Zubiri after the measure recently lapsed into law, imposing stiffer penalties for persons who willfully and indiscriminately discharge firearms, including those authorized to bear weapons.
Senate Bill 2501, or an “Act Penalizing Willful and Indiscriminate Discharge of Firearms”, was among the bills that lapsed into law. The enrolled copies were sent to Malacañang last June 29, 2022.
Earlier, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said this problem has become significant in many communities throughout the country as he urged the need to stop the practice.
He said it usually occurs during the celebration of holidays or revelry and sometimes in the context of drinking.
The public awareness campaign, Gatchalian said, has not helped to curb the senseless display of people who randomly fire their weapons even if they primarily believe that their acts are harmless and these shooting sprees do not intentionally injure or kill people.
In the said measure that was passed into law, any person who shall willfully and indiscriminately discharge any firearms or other device that may not have been designed as firearms but can be functionally be used as a firearm shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period unless the facts of the case can be held to constitute any other offenses of which a higher penalty is prescribed.
“We must not tolerate this kind of abuse,” Zubiri, for his part, maintained.
The law amends Republic Act 3815, known as the Revised Penal Code (RPC) to transfer the act of discharging firearms from the purview of “Alarms and Scandal” provision of the RPC to the level of “more serious offense” of Discharge of Firearms under Article 254, which carries a stiffer penalty.
The law also imposes a penalty on offenders who are members of the military, military auxiliary agencies, or law enforcement agencies authorized to bear weapons which may be charged administratively.
Sen. Ronaldo “Bato” dela Rosa, a former PNP (Philippine National Police) chief, meanwhile said the government must seriously monitor as he explained that laws like this will help stop the so-called “power tripping” to those who are fond of doing these indiscriminate firing.
He also urged those in the security agencies to do the necessary research and test for people who are applying as security guards as he maintained the need for these applicants to pass the physical, mental and emotional tests under his Private Security Act.
“Dapat masusi ang gagawin na pag-scrutinize sa pagbibigay ng tiwala sa mga taong hahawak ng baril para maiwasan ang mga aksidente,” dela Rosa said.