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Firearms bond.

Under Republic Act 10591, otherwise known as the 'Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act', there are generally two instances when a firearms-

related bond may be required by the Firearms and Explosives Office of the PNP.

First, a bond is requiredfor Licenses to Own and Possess Firearms, including its renewal,issued to individuals (Section 9) and to juridical entities, as well as local government units and government-owned and -controlled corporations, known as the firearm bond.Compliance with the bond requirements is a must before a registration card can be issued for each firearm.A firearm bond is imposed for each firearm registered under a licensed citizen.

Second, a bond is required for licenses issued to manufacturers and dealers of firearms and ammunitions (Section 13), known as the License to Manufactureand the License to Deal, respectively. The purpose of these bonds is 'as security and as a commitment to comply with all the existing laws and regulations of' the implementing rules and regulations.A surety bond is also required for the licensing of gunsmiths, both individuals and juridical entities.

For licenses issued to individuals, a bond is required only for those issued with Type 3, 4 and 5 licenses (Section 9, last sentence). Type 3 license allows a citizen to own and possess a maximum of 10 registered firearms; Type 4 allows for maximum of 15 registered firearms; and Type 5 allows a citizen, who is a certified gun collector, to own and possess more than 15 registered firearms. Only small arms may be registered by licensed citizens or juridical entities for ownership, possession and concealed carry (Section 10). A license issued to an individual necessarily includes the license to possess ammunition of a maximum of 50 rounds; but more may be allowed for a licensed sports shooter (Section 12). A license to possess shall be renewed every two years, while the registration of a firearm shall be renewed every four years (Section 19).For a license to own and possess to be issued, the applicant must be a Filipino citizen, at least 21 years old and has gainful employment or business or has filed an Income Tax Return for the preceding year (Section 4).

For licenses issued to manufacturers and dealers of firearms and ammunition, including its renewal, one of the requirements is a surety bond. The secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government or the chief of the Philippine National Police shall indicate the amount of the bond before the issuance of the license (Section 13). A surety bond is also required for manufacturers of reloading machines. A license to deal, including its renewal, authorizes the purchase, sale and general business in handling firearms and ammunition, major and minor parts of firearms, accessories, spare parts, components and reloading machines (Section 3 [f] and 16). And again, one of the requirements is the dealer's surety bond.

It is observed that the amounts of bonds are not indicated in the implementing rules and regulations. These need addressing.

The premium rate for such firearms bonds is now regulated by Circular Letter No. 2018-47, dated September 13, 2018, re: Amended Rules and Regulations on the Issuance of Bonds. The rates for these bonds are provided for in Schedules I and II, attached to the said Circular Letter. The rate for firearm bonds of up to P15,000 is 1.92 for individuals; 2.880 for the ROTC armory; and 3.840 for the dealer's bond. A specific schedule of rates is provided for higher amounts of bond in Schedule II. The bond rates are to be computed per secured firearm. Surety companies authorized to issue firearms bond are mandated to abide by the premium rates issued by the Insurance Commission. In other words, they are tarrified and regulated.
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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Mar 6, 2019
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