Bishop voices concern over allowing civilians to own semi-automatic rifles

March 13, 2024 - 1:22 PM
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Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines. (CBCP News)

A Catholic bishop has reservations about the Philippine police move to allow civilians to own semi-automatic rifles.

Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio of the military diocese said he is personally against allowing civilians to possess rifles, or any firearms for that matter.

“Why will we need those guns? Give them to authorities. If civilians are allowed to have guns, it might cause another big problem,” Florencio said over Radio Veritas.

The bishop cited the situation in the United States as an example, where mass shooting incidents are on the rise.

“In America, why do they have such a problem? Because they have a very lax law, wherein anyone can own a gun without that responsibility over a deadly weapon,” he lamented.

He also pointed out how such a scenario may only become acceptable if the country is in a state of war.

“(But) we are not in a state of war,” stressed Florencio.

The Philippine National Police earlier made a slight amendment in the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 10591, or the Comprehensive Law in Firearms and Ammunition.

The amendment permits civilians to own and possess long firearms, but restricted to those not exceeding 7.62mm.